Toyota is collaborating with utility San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) on vehicle-to-grid (V2G) research, using a Toyota bZ4X EV. The project will explore bidirectional charging technology that enables battery EV owners to discharge electricity from their batteries back to the grid.
As Toyota points out, understanding the needs of BEV owners, their charging habits, and when they use their vehicles will be crucial in driving widespread adoption of V2G. Nearly 80 percent of owners currently charge their BEVs at home overnight, when grid demand is lower. With bidirectional capability, these vehicles could be sending power back to the grid during peak demand times. The collaboration between SDG&E and Toyota’s Electric Vehicle Charging Solutions (EVCS) team aims to find synergies between the needs of BEV owners and the needs of the grid, and to explore ways to communicate with BEV owners about the potential benefits of bidirectional charging.
SDG&E’s service territory, which encompasses 25 communities in San Diego and southern Orange Counties, represents one of the largest Toyota BEV and PHEV ownership regions in California, making it an excellent area in which to conduct this research.
The V2G research will take place at SDG&E’s campus in San Diego, using Fermata Energy’s bidirectional charger and V2G platform. With insight gained from the project, the companies aim to identify customer benefits that could inspire new products and services.
“We are embracing the concept of an entire electrified ecosystem for our customers, and the ability for vehicles to integrate with the grid is an essential component of this ecosystem,” said Christopher Yang, Group VP, Toyota EV Charging Solutions. “Toyota seeks to empower utilities to better anticipate and leverage the significant number of plug-in hybrid and BEVs on their grids, both as a growing source of energy demand and, in the future, energy supply.”