After a variety of strategies and around $100 million in funding, startup Tendril is now largely a software company, and on Tuesday at the DistribuTECH conference in San Antonio, Tendril announced a big partner in its play to provide the software layer for electric vehicles: BMW. Tendril says it will provide its software for a demonstration project with BMW Group Technology Office USA, which will feature a smart energy home and smart charging of BMW’s Active E electric car.
The demo home will be in Mountain View, Calif., and Tendril’s software will be able to connect the electric car with the devices and appliances in the home as well as a solar panel, a local battery and the utility’s back office. The Tendril software can make sure that the charging of the electric car is managed for the utility so that it doesn’t overload the grid and is also managed for the car owner, so it can charge at off-peak lower rates.
It is not a commercial-scale deal by any means, but the news shows Tendril’s ambition to provide the analytics and software to connect all energy-consuming devices, including the EV. After initially looking to provide hardware and energy dashboards for utility smart grid projects, Tendril has now developed an expansive software layer and an open API that other developers can use to launch new energy services. Tendril says it has licensed its software to 35 customers, including appliance makers like Whirlpool and Siemens Energy.
In the summer of 2011 Tendril also scored Siemens as an investor. Other investors in Tendril include VantagePoint Venture Partners, Good Energies and RRE Ventures. Back in 2010, Tendril bought up behavioral analytics company Grounded Power.
We will give you more information from the DistribuTECH conference this week!