In the first quarter of 2022, new EV registrations in the US grew 60%, raising their share of the country’s auto market to an all-time high of 4.6%. While this may seem small compared with countries like Norway, where roughly 86% of new cars sold in 2021 were electric, it offers evidence of a rapidly evolving domestic market – and one that GM is cornering early.
In addition to its new Ultium EV batteries, GM Energy offers charging equipment, solar panels and cloud-based software to residential and commercial property owners. Its product portfolio covers all the components of an electric microecosystem and could allow private homes to act as charging bases. GM has said that its Ultium batteries can even be used as an alternative power source to keep the lights on during a blackout.
This comes at a time when the US power grid is in need of an overhaul. In 2021, EVs had a minimal effect on the grid, taking up less than half a per cent of the total energy the US produced. But with demand for EVs set to grow exponentially by 2027, that could change quickly.
Some experts point to vehicle-to-grid charging systems as a method for relieving pressure on the overstretched power grid of the future. GM isn’t the only company racing to innovate better charging infrastructure in the US: Tesla has been growing its energy business for years. And increasingly small, innovative companies are also jumping in to fill the gaps.