Toyota Announces Collaboration with Oncor to Accelerate EV Charging Ecosystem
The collaboration plans to explore the customer and grid benefits of vehicle-to-grid (V2G) with electric vehicles (EVs).
The pilot project between the Texas-based utility and the Japanese automaker aims to create a seamless electric mobility experience for customers while advancing e-mobility.
The initiative, a first for Toyota with a public utility in the United States, is expected to provide insight into both Toyota and Oncor customers’ current and future needs, as well as ways to reliably provide the grid infrastructure required to enable the rapid growth of EVs.
“Electrification is coming, and it is Oncor’s responsibility to build a safer, smarter, more reliable electric grid that can meet the needs of our customers, the state of Texas, and the ERCOT market,” said Jim Greer, executive vice president, and chief operating officer at Oncor.
“This is the first project of its kind between Oncor and an OEM manufacturer, and we hope to apply someday the lessons learned from this pilot project to the benefit of the many communities we serve.”
The project will begin with a research and testing microgrid at Oncor’s System Operating Services Facility (SOSF) at Lancaster in south Dallas, near Toyota’s national headquarters.
The microgrid comprises four interconnected microgrids that can be controlled independently, in parallel, in tandem, or as part of a more extensive system. A V2G charger, solar panels, and battery storage are also included in the microgrid and its subsystems for testing and evaluation.
Toyota and Oncor intend to use a battery electric vehicle (EV) in conjunction with the system better to understand the interconnectivity of these vehicles and utilities.
A V2G pilot will be conducted with EVs connected at homes or businesses within Oncor’s service territory in a second phase scheduled for 2023.
Toyota Electric Vehicle Charging Solutions team leader Christopher Yang stated that the company envisions a future in which Toyota EVs provide a best-in-class mobility experience and can also be used to power homes, communities or back to the grid in times of need.
“Our collaboration with Oncor is an important step for us to understand utility needs, as we intend to work closely with them to ensure that every community can embrace Toyota’s shift to electrified vehicles.”