General Motors (GM) announced on Tuesday the creation in the United States of a new business unit, called GM Energy, which will provide electricity storage and management services to individuals and companies.

GM Energy will offer everything from battery packs to electric vehicle (EV) chargers, solar panels, hydrogen cells and software applications, among other products.

The new GM unit follows in the footsteps of the car company Tesla, which already offers similar services with electricity storage systems for homes and solar panels designed like roof tiles to install on single-family homes.

GM Energy will enable bi-directional charging as well as vehicle-to-home and vehicle-to-grid electricity, enabling energy stored in EVs and batteries to be sold to power companies during peak usage periods.

GM said it has already entered into agreements with several large companies in the US to provide GM Energy services and products to their customers.

The automaker also expressed its willingness to extend GM Energy’s activities to Canada and other countries in the future.

Travis Hester, GM’s vice president for EV Growth Operations, said in a statement that GM Energy will help make the electric grid more reliable.

“GM Energy has an opportunity to help produce sustainable energy products and services that can help mitigate the effect of power outages,” he explained.

The saturation of generation capacity and electricity networks is one of the fears caused by the growing demand for EVs, something that will accelerate in the coming years.

To travel 160 kilometres, an electric vehicle requires, on average, 30 kW/h, the same amount a single-family home needs per day to run appliances, lighting, air conditioning and other devices.

A 2020 study by the US Department of Energy noted that by 2050 the electrification of the automobile, as well as other sectors, will increase electricity consumption by up to 38%.

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