Toyota Motor North America and San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E), a Southern California-based public utility that serves 3.7 million people, have agreed to collaborate on vehicle-to-grid (V2G) research for battery electric vehicles (BEVs) using a Toyota bZ4X. Toyota said V2G research will explore bidirectional power flow technology that enables BEV owners to charge their vehicle’s batteries from the electric grid and discharge electricity from them back to the grid.
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, Toyota said.
SDG&E’s service territory, which encompasses 25 communities in San Diego and southern Orange Counties, represents one of the largest Toyota BEV and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) ownership regions in California.
The V2G research will take place at SDG&E’s campus in San Diego, California, using Fermata Energy’s bidirectional charger and V2G platform. To date, the company said it has installed more than 3,600 chargers at workplaces, schools and parks, as well as industrial and commercial facilities. SDG&E has already electrified more than 20% of its over-the-road fleet and said it works closely with many fleet operators to help them transition to EV fleets.
With the insight gained from the V2G research collaboration, SDG&E and Toyota said they aim to identify current and future customer benefits that can be achieved through new products and services. The pilot will also assist SDG&E in understanding the infrastructure needed to enable the growth of EV charging infrastructure, both in public and private settings, and to further stabilize the power grid during peak hours.
Currently, Toyota offers two mass-market BEVs in the U.S. and Canada – the Toyota bZ4X and Lexus RZ 450e. Toyota recently announced plans for an all-new three-row BEV SUV that will be assembled at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky in 2025. By 2030, Toyota said it aspires to offer 30 BEV models globally across its Toyota and Lexus brand nameplates and produce up to 3.5 million BEVs annually.