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Toyota and San Diego Gas & Electric Co. to expand on vehicle-to-grid research


Toyota Motor North America (Toyota) and San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E), a Southern California-based public utility have entered in a research collaboration to expand on vehicle-to-grid (V2G) research for battery electric vehicles (BEV) using Toyota's bZ4X.

The V2G research will take place at SDG&E's campus in San Diego, California, using Fermata Energy's bidirectional charger and V2G platform. The research is aimed at exploring bi-directional power flow technology that enables BEV customers to do both, charge their vehicle's batteries from the electric grid and discharge electricity from the batteries back to the grid.

"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 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 electric vehicles (PHEV) and BEVs on their grids, both as a growing source of energy demand and, in the future, energy supply."

Understanding the needs of BEV owners, their charging habits, and when they use their vehicles is key to driving widespread adoption of V2G technology. This research aims to better understand a combination of factors such as the needs of BEV owners and the needs of the electricity grid. It also aims to explore ways to communicate the potential benefits of bidirectional capabilities to BEV owners.

"V2G has the potential to be a game changer for the power grid and for consumers, and we're proud to partner with Toyota to advance this technology," said SDG&E Chief Commercial Officer Miguel Romero. "Together, we're forging new pathways toward a sustainable and resilient energy future for our customers and the communities we serve."

SDG&E service territory in California represents one of the largest Toyota BEV and PHEV ownership markets in the US.

The pilot is expected to help SDG&E better assess the infrastructure needed to enable the rapid growth of EV charging infrastructure, both in public and private settings, and further stabilize the power grid during peak hours. 

Author : Shraddha Kakade
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