- Toyota and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) V2G research will delve into the intricacies of customer experience, business models, and technology aspects of Vehicle-to-Grid systems, leveraging the Toyota bZ4X as a case study to exemplify how electric vehicles (EVs) can benefit both customers and the electric grid with innovations in EV charging technology.
- This project will be in collaboration with SDG&E, and a bidirectional charger showcasing the power transfer capabilities from and to the grid will be stationed at the research site.
- SDG&E’s service territory boasts one of the largest markets for Toyota battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs).
On November 14, 2023, Toyota Motor North America and SDG&E, a utility company serving 3.7 million people in Southern California, made a joint announcement regarding a major collaboration. This partnership will revolve around vehicle-to-grid (V2G) research for BEVs using a Toyota bZ4X. The V2G research will investigate bidirectional power flow technology, a promising innovation that allows BEV owners to not only charge their vehicle’s batteries from the electric grid but also discharge electricity from the batteries back to the grid. This V2G technology holds great potential, as it could enhance energy reliability and resilience, integrate renewables more effectively, and potentially reduce electricity costs for consumers.
Fostering Synergy: Exploring Bidirectional Charging in the BEV Landscape
Understanding the charging patterns and utilization habits of BEV owners is pivotal to promoting the widespread acceptance of V2G technology. Currently, the vast majority (almost 80%) of BEV owners charge their vehicles at home overnight, a period of reduced demand on the electricity grid. With the introduction of bidirectional charging, these vehicles could feasibly return power to the grid during peak demand periods or critical situations, such as rotating power outages due to insufficient electricity supplies. This potential for synergy between the needs of BEV owners and the electricity grid is being explored in a collaboration between SDG&E and Toyota’s electric vehicle charging solutions team. Their joint goal is to determine effective ways of communicating the prospective benefits of bidirectional charging capabilities to BEV owners.
SDG&E’s service territory, encompassing 25 communities in San Diego and southern Orange counties, represents one of the largest Toyota BEV and PHEV ownership regions in California. California, which is often referred to as the Golden State, is recognized as the fastest-growing EV market in the nation. This makes it an ideal location for conducting this pivotal research on BEV charging habits and bidirectional charging capabilities. The findings from this study could pave the way for more efficient use of energy resources, potentially transforming the dynamics of the electricity grid.
Fostering a Sustainable Partnership: Exploring V2G Innovations for EV Infrastructure and Grid Stability
The V2G research, a pioneering initiative in the field of electric vehicles (EVs), is set to commence at San Diego Gas & Electric’s campus, situated in San Diego, California. The project will leverage Fermata Energy’s advanced bidirectional charger and V2G platform. The clean transportation team at SDG&E boasts a wealth of knowledge and experience, having successfully rolled out several EV charging infrastructure programs. To date, the company has installed in excess of 3,600 chargers at various locations, including workplaces, schools, parks, and industrial and commercial facilities. SDG&E has already achieved significant progress in fleet electrification, with over 20% of its over-the-road fleet already electrified. The company maintains strong partnerships with numerous fleet operators, providing invaluable support in their transition to EV fleets.
Leveraging the insights from the V2G research collaboration, SDG&E and Toyota are set to explore the potential customer benefits that can be derived from innovative products and services. The pilot program will be instrumental in helping SDG&E understand the infrastructural requirements vital for facilitating the swift expansion of EV charging infrastructure. This comprises both public and private settings. Additionally, the study aims to provide solutions for stabilizing the power grid during peak load hours, thereby ensuring a consistent and reliable energy supply. This endeavor stands as a testament to the power of collaborative research in driving the growth of electric mobility and fostering a sustainable future.
Driving the Electrified Ecosystem: Toyota’s Vision and SDG&E’s Commitment to V2G Technology
“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 of 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 hybrids and BEVs on their grids, both as a growing source of energy demand and, in the future, energy supply.”
“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.”
Toyota bZ4X and Lexus RZ 450e First of 30 BEVs
Toyota’s two mass-market BEVs available in the U.S. and Canada, the Toyota bZ4X and Lexus RZ 450e, represent a significant step forward in the company’s commitment to electrifying its fleet. In a recent announcement, Toyota revealed ambitious plans for a new three-row BEV SUV to be assembled at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky in 2025. This highly anticipated model is set to bring a new level of innovation and sophistication to the rapidly growing electric vehicle market. Looking towards the future, by 2030, Toyota aspires to offer a broad range of 30 BEV models globally across its Toyota and Lexus brand nameplates. This expansive line-up is expected to produce up to 3.5 million BEVs annually, further solidifying Toyota’s position as a leader in the electric mobility sector. These goals reflect Toyota’s ongoing dedication to promoting sustainable transportation and a cleaner environment.
SOURCE | IMAGES: TOYOTA
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