A new SAE International standard, J2836/1 - Use Cases for Communication between Plug-In Vehicles and the Utility Grid, establishes use cases for two-way communication between plug-in electric vehicles (PHEVs) and the electric power grid, for energy transfer and other applications. It also provides a set of communication requirements for use with various load-management and rate programs that will be established by utility companies related to the charging of PHEVs. The various utility programs will enable consumers to charge their vehicles at the lowest cost during off-peak hours and will help utilities reduce grid impacts by minimizing electric vehicle charging during peak periods. "The biggest challenge for utilities is managing the grid during peak times, a time when energy is the most expensive and demand is greatest," said Rich Scholer, HEV E/E Systems Engineer, Ford Motor Co. "As we add more plug-in electric vehicles to the grid, we're increasing our need for on-peak power and infrastructure. This standard will help enable consumers to charge their vehicles at off-peak hours and help utilities better manage the grids during peak hours, thus minimizing cost and grid impacts." Scholer serves as Chair of SAE International's Hybrid Task Force and is sponsor of the new standard. J2836/1 is the first in a series of five standards that are being developed by SAE to address utility programs for plug-in electric vehicles. For more information on the standard, visit http://www.sae.org/technical/standards/J2836/1_201004. SAE in January updated a standard, J1772, related to the design of the connector used for charging vehicles.