Managed EV Charging

SMUD is working with automakers to test how it can help Sacramento-area customers charge their electric vehicles at times of day when energy demand is low. This puts less strain on the electricity grid and allows us to use more renewable energy. Current participating automakers include: BMW, Ford, General Motors and Tesla (via Optiwatt).

The Managed EV Charging  pilot program supports SMUD’s goal to eliminate carbon emissions from the power supply by 2030.

How it works

  1. Plug in your EV and let your automaker or Optiwatt know when you need your vehicle charged.
  2. You will have an optimized charging schedule created based on your preferences and information from SMUD about the best times to charge.
  3. This charging schedule will be sent to your car automatically. All you need to do is plug in your car to charge and earn rewards.

Terms & Conditions - BMW, Ford and GM

Terms & Conditions - Optiwatt (Tesla)

SMUD customers who drive a battery, electric or plug-in hybrid EV from one of the following lists may apply to participate. 

Note: This list is subject to change at any time at the discretion of the OEMs or Optiwatt.  

BMW vehicles 

  • 330E (3 Series) Phev
  • 330E (3 Series) Xdrive Phev
  • 530E (5 Series) Phev
  • 545E (5 Series) Phev
  • 745E (7 Series) Phev
  • i3 Bev (model year 2016 and older may not qualify – verify by VIN)
  • i3 Rex Phev (model year 2016 and older may not qualify – verify by VIN)
  • i4
  • i8 Phev (model year 2016 and older may not qualify – verify by VIN)
  • iX
  • Mini Cooper Se Bev
  • Mini Countryman Phev
  • X3 Xdrive 30E Phev
  • X5 Xdrive 40E Phev

Apply with BMW

Ford vehicles

  • Ford E-Transit
  • Ford F-150 Lightning
  • Ford Mustang Mach-E

Apply with Ford

General Motors (GM) vehicles

GM vehicles with an active OnStar® or Chevrolet Connected Services plan that are not subject to an open recall are eligible.
  • Chevrolet Bolt (2017-2021)
  • Chevrolet Volt (2016-2019) 

Apply with GM

Tesla vehicles

In partnership with Optiwatt, the following vehicles are eligible:

  • Model 3
  • Model S
  • Model X
  • Model Y

Apply with Optiwatt 

Once your vehicle has been connected to the communication platform and SMUD has verified eligibility, you'll be eligible to receive participation rewards. Participants will receive a one-time, initial incentive and also a quarterly reward payment.

Charging Level Description One-time Initial Incentive Ongoing Quarterly Reward
Level 1 Uses a standard 120-volt household outlet. $150 $20
Level 2 Uses a 208/240-volt  electrical plug and charging cord or installed EV charger unit
$150 $20

Can I participate if I don’t have the ability to charge at home?  

Yes, you can participate if you are unable to charge at home but are able to consistently charge at work or other locations.  


Will I be scheduled to charge outside of SMUD's discounted EV rate (midnight - 6 AM)?

You may be scheduled to charge during a time when electricity rates are more expensive and outside of SMUD's discounted EV rate time period. The incentive structure of the Managed EV Charging program was designed to offset the possible increased costs that may be incurred by charging during times of day when electricity costs are higher.   


What if I need the car to charge before its scheduled start time(s)?  

The pilot program rules allow you to change your charging schedule whenever you need to, without affecting your program rewards or program status. To learn how to make changes to your charging schedule, visit your automaker’s enrollment website or the Optiwatt App. 


What data are you collecting from my vehicle?  

The pilot program gathers charging data by accessing data available from your vehicle. Once you provide permission to gather this charging data through the enrollment process, your automaker or Optiwatt will provide charging information about your vehicle to SMUD. SMUD uses this information to evaluate the benefits of smart charging.


Can I leave the program if I want?

Yes, you're free to leave the program at any time without penalty. Contact your automaker or Optiwatt to unenroll.


Why isn't my car charging as expected?

If a departure time is not set in your BMW, Ford, GM or Optiwatt App, your charging will be scheduled so that your target state of charge is reached within 24 hours of plugging in. Verify a departure time has been set in your BMW, Ford, GM or Optiwatt App to ensure your car is ready by the time you need it. Check your EV charger to make sure it doesn't have any conflicting charging schedules or charge limitations. Charging schedules in your EV charger may conflict with signals sent by the program.


What happens if I don't set my departure time in the BMW, Ford, GM or Optiwatt App?

If you don't set a departure time, your vehicle may not reach your desired state of charge when you need it. Setting your departure time in the BMW, Ford, GM or Optiwatt App will help to ensure your charging is completed by the time you are ready to leave.


When will I receive my reward payment?

After verifying eligibility, you should receive your one-time, initial $150 incentive, in approximately 30 days. For BMW, Ford and GM customers, you'll receive mailed checks from SMUD. For Optiwatt customers (Tesla), you can select different payment options in the Optiwatt app. The following is the schedule for quarterly reward payments.


Enrollment Date*

1st Reward Payment Date

Jan 1 – Mar 31

By April 30

Apr 1 – Jun 30

By July 31

Jul 1 – Sept 30

By Oct 31

Oct 1 – Dec 31

By Jan 31

*Enrollments any time during a quarter will qualify for quarterly payment that quarter and subsequent payments on a quarterly basis


Terms & Conditions - BMW, Ford and GM

Terms & Conditions - Optiwatt (Tesla)

For more information, email