Not content to cede the high-tech mobile charging space to Ford, General Motors' OnStar division is showing off a new smart energy management solution for the Chevrolet Volt.

The system gathers data about charging times and energy rates and can inform Volt owners of the optimum time to charge their extended-range EVs via email, allowing them to schedule charges during lower-rate periods. Owners will have to opt in for the service, and while it's not quite as trick as the Blue Oval's MyFord Mobile app, the possibility of releasing an update to the OnStar smartphone app is certainly in the cards. Full details in the press blast below.

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OnStar to Show Smart Energy Management Solutions

New technologies at DistribuTECH will help utilities and electric vehicle customers

SAN DIEGO – Smart energy management technologies from OnStar that will help electric vehicle customers and utilities plan better and save money will be demonstrated at DistribuTECH, the utility industry's leading smart grid conference and exposition.

Each of the demonstrations will highlight how OnStar can be used with smart grid technology to efficiently manage the electricity demand of electric vehicles. A Chevrolet Volt, the world's first electric vehicle with extended range capability, will be used in the demonstrations.

"Managing electricity supply and demand has always been extremely complex," said Nick Pudar, Vice President of Planning and Business Development at OnStar. "The embedded technology of OnStar allows for accurate monitoring and controlling of the energy used by electric vehicles like the Volt. No other telematics service can offer these capabilities."

The demonstrations will include:

Demand response – This solution will connect utilities to companies like GE and Comverge that have intelligent energy management products. GE and Comverge will demonstrate the use of OnStar to continually monitor and manage energy usage for Volt customers who opt in for the service. This future service allows the customer to save money on energy costs while enabling more efficient use of the electric grid.

Time-of-Use (TOU) rates -- OnStar can receive dynamic time-of-use pricing from utilities and notify Volt owners of the rate plan offers via email. Owners can use OnStar to load the rate plans directly into their vehicle and access them to schedule charging during lower-rate periods.

Data gathering -- OnStar also sends and receives EV data that helps utility providers without having to interface with the vehicle's electric vehicle supply equipment. This includes location-based EV data that identifies charging locations and determines potential load scenarios.

Vehicle-to-Home Integration Technology-OnStar will be exhibiting alongside Tendril at Booth #1329 to provide attendees with a look at how the Tendril technology platform enables vehicle-to-home integration, simplifying energy management and the implications for future connected home applications.

The integration and demonstration of these OnStar smart energy management technologies is part of a demonstration program with participating utilities across the United States. The program is made possible with a grant of more than $30 million from the Transportation Electrification Initiative administered by the U.S. Department of Energy through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

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