Toyota Motor North America (Toyota) and Oncor Electric Delivery (Oncor), a Texas-based electric transmission and distribution company, have agreed to collaborate on a pilot project around vehicle-to-grid (V2G), a technology that allows vehicles to flow energy from their battery back onto the electric grid. The effort will be led by Toyota’s Electric Vehicle Charging Solutions (EVCS) team, marking the first collaboration with a public utility for Toyota in the U.S. around battery electric vehicles (BEVs).
The companies say the results from the research will allow Toyota and Oncor to be better prepared to support the broader EV charging ecosystem in the United States. Initially, the two companies have agreed to a research project that will use Oncor’s research and testing microgrid at its System Operating Services Facility (SOSF) in south Dallas, located just south of Toyota’s nearby 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. The microgrid and its subsystems also include a V2G charger, solar panels and battery storage for testing and evaluation. Toyota and Oncor say they plan to use a BEV along with the system to better understand the interconnectivity between BEVs and utilities.
Beyond this initial phase, a second phase of the project slated for this year will include a V2G pilot where testing will be conducted with BEVs connected at homes or businesses within Oncor’s service territory, pursuant to all standard interconnection processes and agreements.
The collaboration will help provide both Oncor and Toyota insight into the current and future needs of its customers, the companies say. Furthermore, it will provide Oncor with additional insight into the infrastructure needed to enable the rapid growth of electric vehicles and electric vehicle charging infrastructure, meet their needs and support electric vehicles, and better understand the impact of V2G on the electric grid.