The Electric Power Research Institute has announced a collaboration with 8 automakers and 15 utilities to develop and demonstrate an open grid integration platform for plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs). General Motors and Honda are among the automakers involved. The goal is to develop a customer-friendly interface so PEV drivers can more easily participate in utility PEV programs, such as off-peak or nighttime charging rates, according to an EPRI release. In the first phase, EPRI and the participating companies will develop a standardized demand-response solution, which is a signal a utility sends to an energy management company to communicate the supply and demand needs to the grid. The company will then communicate with designated PEVs in the area to manage energy consumption to follow the grid’s needs, according to GM. The program could also help mitigate the impact of strain on the grid during peak periods and could help curb greenhouse gas emissions, according to the EPRI. Sumitomo Electric will develop the core platform technology on the first phase. The globally applicable software platform complies with standards set by major international organizations, including SAE International.