SAE and ZigBee team on vehicle-to-grid standard

  • 15-Mar-2011 08:44 EDT
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The agreement between the ZigBee Alliance and SAE International will make ZigBee Smart Energy the preferred technology supporting plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) and enable vehicle-to-grid (V2G) communication and power capabilities. (Ford)

SAE International and the ZigBee Alliance recently announced that they will collaborate on ZigBee Smart Energy standard development. Their efforts will make ZigBee Smart Energy the preferred technology supporting plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) and enabling essential vehicle-to-grid (V2G) communication and power capabilities.

According to SAE, ZigBee Smart Energy is the market-leading home area network and advanced metering infrastructure standard for the "smart grid." The ZigBee Alliance is an open, nonprofit association of about 400 members driving development of innovative, reliable, and easy-to-use ZigBee standards. The Alliance promotes worldwide adoption of ZigBee as the leading wirelessly networked sensing and control standard for use in consumer, commercial, and industrial areas.

The collaboration recognizes SAE's role as the focal point for integrating automobile communication with emerging energy management requirements. Using ZigBee Smart Energy to define how PEVs and the grid interact, whether at the consumer's home or at a remote location, will be one of the goals the two groups address. Ultimately, the initiative will provide future PEV drivers with the real-time information needed to control their transportation energy use. It will also help them manage their charging costs and receive utility incentives for participating in PEV programs.

"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. "SAE International's formidable task is to help coordinate the urgent efforts of many different companies, industries, and disciplines. It realizes that the faster standards appear, the sooner electric-powered vehicles can gain consumer acceptance as a new and reliable mode of transportation."

Work between the groups is already under way, with completion targeted for next year when ZigBee Smart Energy version 2.0 is scheduled for completion. SAE joins ZigBee Smart Energy development efforts 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 International's involvement will give consumers an effective way to manage their PEV energy needs," said Bob Heile, Chairman of the ZigBee Alliance. "With SAE International 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."

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