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Pilot program seeks to test the impact of managed EV charging on electricity grid


Staff member
Mar 19, 2024
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Optiwatt and The Atmospheric Fund Launch Smart EV Charging Pilot in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area​

TORONTO – The Atmospheric Fund (TAF) and Optiwatt, a leading telematics-based managed charging platform, just announced a partnership for a smart electric vehicle (EV) charging pilot that will help meet increased energy demand as more people across the region adopt EVs.

Optiwatt invites EV owners across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) to participate in a pilot program that will automate EV vehicle charging during hours with cheaper electricity rates. EV owners with Time of Use (TOU) or Ultra Low Overnight (ULO) plans stand to save up to 70% on their EV charging costs.

As Canada and local governments continue to pursue policies to accelerate the EV transition, utilities across the country are planning for an increase in grid demands. With Optiwatt’s application technology, TAF plans to demonstrate the impact of managed charging in balancing EV needs with utility planning to provide safe and affordable energy.

“As EV adoption continues to increase across the world, so does grid demand. In order to sustain the grid’s ability to support the influx of EVs, it’s important to be sure of the load it can handle as it stands,” Casey Donahue, founder and CEO of Optiwatt said. “We saw tremendous success with our other Canadian program, FortisAlberta, and we’re looking forward to continuing to work in that area.”

Optiwatt will be administering the pilot program in partnership with Dunsky Energy + Climate Advisors, a Canadian-based consultancy firm that supports governments, utilities, and other organizations across North America in their efforts to accelerate the clean energy transition.

“We’re excited to be at the forefront of understanding how smart charging can provide benefits to the grid while ensuring customers are confident that their EV will be charged when they need it,” added Jeff Turner, Director of Mobility at Dunsky. “Building confidence in the managed charging process will be a key piece of the puzzle when it comes to electrifying the transportation sector while providing valuable flexibility to the grid.”

The pilot program supports most electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids that allow remotely controlled charging. Enrollment into the pilot program began on April 12, 2024 and will run through December 31st, 2024 with the following vehicles supported: Ford, BMW, General Motors, Hyundai, Jaguar, Kia, Range Rover, Tesla, Toyota, and Volkswagen models.

“There is tremendous potential for technologies that manage electricity demand to support rapid electrification and clean energy production in the GTHA,” Aakash Harpalani, Director, Clean Energy at TAF said. “We look forward to working with Optiwatt to demonstrate how innovative programs like this can help balance the grid and meet the rising demand for EVs.”

To enroll, participants must download the free Optiwatt app from the Google Play or Apple App store, or visit the managed charging page at optiwatt.com/gtha and follow the program instructions to Schedule Your Charging with the app and Support Your Local Grid. To view frequently asked questions on the partnership and enrollment details, please visit optiwatt.com/faq/gtha for more information.


About Optiwatt

Headquartered in San Francisco, California, Optiwatt is the largest telematics-based home energy analytics platform in North America. The company’s partnerships with a wide range of utilities and production consumer facing applications reduce cost and energy usage for home and auto owners. Optiwatt’s technology has attracted investors such as Alphabet’s GV wing, Urban Innovation Fund, Active Impact Investments and Thin Line Capital. For more information, please visit optiwatt.com.

About TAF

The Atmospheric Fund is a regional climate agency that invests in low-carbon solutions for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area to help them scale up for broad implementation. They are focused on enabling the acceleration and scale-up of low-carbon solutions for GTHA to be carbon neutral by 2050. TAF advances concepts by investing, providing grants, influencing policies and running programs. For more information, please visit taf.ca.

About Dunsky

Founded in 2004, Dunsky Energy + Climate Advisors supports leading governments, utilities, corporations and others across North America in their efforts to accelerate the clean energy transition, effectively and responsibly. Dunsky supports their clients through rigorous analysis of technical, economic and market opportunities, and by designing or assessing strategies to achieve success. For more information, please visit dunsky.com.

Media Contact​

Julie Leach
Senior Manager, Communications
The Atmospheric Fund
[email protected]
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