Toyota Motor North America and San Diego Gas & Electric are collaborating on vehicle-to-grid (V2G) research for battery electric vehicles using a Toyota bZ4X.
The V2G research will explore bidirectional power-flow technology that enables EV owners to both charge their vehicles’ batteries from the electric grid and discharge electricity from the batteries back to the grid.
Nearly 80 percent of owners currently charge their battery EVs at home overnight, when grid demand is lower. With bidirectional capability, these vehicles could send power back to the grid during peak demand hours or at other critical times, such as during rotating outages due to shortage in electricity supplies. 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 electricity grid, as well as explore how to communicate with BEV owners about the potential benefits of bidirectional capabilities.
SDG&E’s service territory, which encompasses 25 communities in San Diego and southern Orange Counties, represents one of the largest Toyota battery EV and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle ownership regions in California.
“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,” says Christopher Yang, group vice president, Toyota EV Charging Solutions. “Working with leading utilities, such as SDG&E, will ensure that customers can continue to confidently charge at home. 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.”
The V2G research will take place at SDG&E’s campus in San Diego using Fermata Energy’s bidirectional charger and V2G platform.