ZigBee Alliance, SAE Collaborate for Electric Vehicles Connection to Smart Grid

The ZigBee Alliance and the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) say they are collaborating on ZigBee Smart Energy standard-development efforts aimed at supporting plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) and enabling vehicle-to-grid (V2G) communication and power capabilities.

A key goal of the collaboration is to identify how ZigBee Smart Energy can help "define how PEVs and the grid interact, whether at the consumer’s home or at a remote location," the organizations say.

"Adding ZigBee Smart Energy to PEVs will give automakers and utilities a common language to manage the charging, storage and use of energy in PEVs," says Richard Scholer, chairman of the SAE’s Hybrid Vehicle Communications Task Force Committee. "The faster standards appear, the sooner electric-powered vehicles can gain consumer acceptance."

The association recognizes the important role SAE plays as the focal point for integrating automobile communication with emerging energy management requirements by defining how PEVs and the grid interact will be one of the goals of the two groups. For this, the groups will be using ZigBee Smart Energy.

The joint initiative will offer future PEV drivers with the real-time information to control their transportation energy use, manage their charging costs and receive utility incentives for participating in PEV programs. It will also provide the essential control functions to safely manage the charging of PEVs while maintaining grid integrity, company officials said.

“Adding ZigBee Smart Energy to PEVs will give automakers and utilities a common language to manage the charging, storage and use of energy in PEVs,” said Richard Scholer, SAE hybrid vehicle communications task force committee chair, in a statement. “SAE’s formidable task is to help coordinate the urgent efforts of many different companies, industries and disciplines.”

Work between the groups is currently on with completion targeted for this year. ZigBee Smart Energy development efforts are led by some of the largest utilities, suppliers and technology companies in the world.

“With an estimated 40 million smart meters integrated with ZigBee Smart Energy in homes, SAE’s involvement will give consumers an effective way to manage their PEV energy needs,” said Bob Heile, chairman of the ZigBee Alliance. “With SAE and ZigBee working together to create the needed standardized infrastructure, millions of consumers will be able to take advantage of rechargeable vehicles, speeding their adoption and allowing everyone to benefit.”

In July last year, consumer electronics majors LG Electronics (News – Alert) and Toshiba announced that they have joined the ZigBee RF4CE Steering Committee in order to drive ZigBee RF4CE standardized solutions throughout the consumer electronics industry.