General Motors (NYSE:GM) on Tuesday announced a pilot program with Pacific Gas and Electric Co. in California that would make its electric vehicles capable of powering a home in the event of a power outage or grid outage.
“That’s really important because that’s another benefit of owning an electric vehicle,” GM CEO Mary Barra told media on Tuesday.
The move aligns with similar capabilities from other automakers, including Ford Motor (NYSE:F) with its upcoming F-150 Lightning electric pickup due out this spring. Ford has partnered with solar company Sunrun for charging and power accessories that enable such capabilities. EV startup Lucid Group also announced similar features for its $169,000 Air sedan.
Select PG&E utility customers will participate in the pilot this summer, Barra said. The companies are working to scale the pilot to open it to larger customer trials by the end of 2022, according to a press release.
GM made headlines on Monday when it announced it was partnering with POSCO Chemical (see previous story) to build a new plant in Bécancour, Que., valued at $500 million. The new facility will produce cathode active material (CAM) for GM’s Ultium batteries, which will power electric vehicles such as the Chevrolet Silverado EV, GMC HUMMER EV and Cadillac LYRIQ.
GM shares rose 19 cents to $40.03, opening Tuesday.