Toyota launches first V2G project with an US utility
Toyota Motor North America and Oncor Electric Delivery, a Texas-based electric transmission and distribution company, have agreed to collaborate on a pilot project around vehicle-to-grid (V2G). It is the first cooperation of its kind for Toyota in the US.
Toyota’s Electric Vehicle Charging Solutions (EVCS) team will take the lead in this first collaboration with a public utility in the USA. For Oncor, this is also the first time to work with an OEM on EV integration and smart charging.
Initially, the two companies agreed to a research project that will use Oncor’s research and testing microgrid at its System Operating Services Facility (SOSF) in south Dallas, Texas. The site is just south of Toyota’s national headquarters.
The SOSF microgrid is composed of four interconnected microgrids that can be controlled independently but also operated in parallel, tandem or combined into a single, larger system, explains Toyota. The system also includes a V2G charger, solar panels and battery storage for testing and evaluation. This is where Toyota and Oncor plan to use a BEV “better to understand the interconnectivity between electric vehicles and utilities,” so the statement.
“We envision a future where Toyota BEVs provide a best-in-class mobility experience, but also can be utilized by our customer to power their homes, their communities or even power back the electric grid in times of need,” said Christopher Yang, group vice president of Toyota Electric Vehicle Charging Solutions team. “Our collaboration with Oncor is an important step for us to understand the needs of utilities, as we plan to work closely with them to ensure every community can embrace Toyota’s shift to electrified vehicles.”
Beyond this initial phase, a second phase is slated for 2023. It will include a V2G pilot where testing will be conducted with BEVs connected at homes or businesses within Oncor’s service territory.
Toyota’s first volume BEV, the bZ4X, went on sale this year in the US and Canada. The first Lexus BEV, the RZ 450e, is scheduled for sale in early 2023.
While a first in the USA, Toyota has worked with utilities before. The most recent collaboration with the Japanese energy company Jera sees them installing a large-volume energy storage system with end-of-life batteries from mostly hybrid vehicles Toyota is well-known for. Again in Japan, the company in June showed the O-Uchi Kyuden System, a battery-backed system for residential use. The design features bidirectional vehicle-to-home capabilities.
The Branham Project is developing and implementing a regional smart grid V2G incubator and laboratory hub in Valdosta, GA.