Vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology is seen as playing a part in supplementing power grids in California and other states prone to extreme weather events driven by climate change. - Source:...

Vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology is seen as playing a part in supplementing power grids in California and other states prone to extreme weather events driven by climate change. 

Source: California Energy Commission

The California Energy Commission (CEC) has allocated a $3 million grant to BorgWarner Inc., in partnership with Fermata Energy and The Lion Electric Co., to spearhead a groundbreaking Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) project. This initiative is poised to revolutionize energy management in California school districts by integrating grid-supporting and cost-saving V2G solutions into the services provided by American Transportation.

"BorgWarner is proud to partner with Fermata Energy and Lion Electric on this exciting project, supporting the State of California in electrifying the transportation departments of their school districts while addressing real grid challenges," said Isabelle McKenzie, vice president of BorgWarner Inc. and president and GM of Morse Systems.

Advancing Clean Energy Goals through Collaborative Efforts

In the face of escalating climate change-induced extreme weather events like heat waves, droughts, and wildfires, California's grid faces mounting strain. However, with the increasing availability of electric vehicles (EVs), V2G technology emerges as a promising avenue towards a cleaner energy future. Through collaborative efforts with BorgWarner, Fermata Energy, and Lion Electric, the CEC endeavors to strengthen and decarbonize California’s grid while leveraging AI-powered V2G technology to augment electric school bus fleets.

"This CEC grant and project underscores the power of partnerships and our collective dedication to sustainability as we deploy this cutting-edge V2G bidirectional hardware and software solution," said Tony Posawatz, CEO of Fermata Energy.

“American Transportation strives to be at the forefront of technology and innovation in an industry that often struggles to break free from its antiquated means of operation. With the assistance of the CEC grant and the company's strong partnerships formed with BorgWarner, Fermata Energy, and Lion Electric, we are able to provide a glimpse into the future of safe, clean, and environmentally sustainable student transportation. This is an exciting time to witness a pivotal change in the industry and we are extremely grateful to play a role in that advancement,” said Dan Wilson, CEO of American Transportation.

Demonstrating V2G Viability for Grid Resilience and Beyond

The deployment of V2G technology in partnership with American Transportation, serving school districts like the Conejo Valley Unified School District (CVUSD) and the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE), not only bolsters grid reliability but also mitigates the impact of Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) events and extreme weather conditions. By optimizing the charging and discharging of electric school buses, Fermata Energy’s V2X software platform ensures maximum grid benefits and revenue generation, supporting California's clean energy goals.

“The Conejo Valley Unified School District is proud to partner with American Transportation as an early adopter of electric buses, which will soon join the fleet of vehicles the CVUSD uses to transport our scholars to school and to extracurricular activities,” said Dr. Victor Hayek, Conejo Valley Unified School District’s Deputy Superintendent. “This new sustainable technology will support this endeavor, with positive infrastructure and environmental impacts for our community – a big win-win.”

"With this new technology, electric school buses are not only delivering cleaner air to our children and cost savings to our school districts, but also providing extra power to the grid when we need it most," said Patty Monahan, California Energy Commission’s lead commissioner for transportation.

“The investment from the CEC for V2G-dedicated projects is a testament to the significance of this emerging technology and how collaborating with Fermata Energy and BorgWarner is helping address the demands of electrification,” said Nate Baguio, Senior Vice President of Commercial Development at Lion Electric. “We have been at the forefront of shaping the V2G business case for several years in California and the United States, and these partnerships are vital for the future of clean energy transportation.”

This initiative serves as a model for schools nationwide, demonstrating the potential of V2G technology to provide value to the grid while parked and contributing to a sustainable future.

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