Sponsored By

Toyota & SDG&E Collaborate on Vehicle-to-Grid Research

Explore the groundbreaking collaboration between Toyota and SDG&E, delving into V2G research to transform battery electric vehicles into grid contributors.

Maria Guerra, Senior Editor-Battery Technology

November 16, 2023

3 Min Read
Vehicle to grid (V2G)
Toyota expands Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) research with San Diego Gas & Electric Company collaboration.Courtesy of Toyota

Toyota Motor North America (Toyota) and San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) are collaborating on vehicle-to-grid (V2G) research for battery electric vehicles (BEVs) using a Toyota bZ4X. The research will investigate bidirectional power flow technology, enabling BEV owners to charge from the grid and discharge electricity back, potentially improving energy reliability and reducing electricity costs.

Understanding the habits of BEV owners is essential for the widespread adoption of V2G technology, particularly given that almost 80% of BEVs are charged overnight. The collaboration seeks to uncover synergies aligning BEV owner requirements with grid dynamics, examining the advantages of bidirectional capabilities during peak demand or shortages. Conducted at SDG&E's San Diego campus, the V2G research employs Fermata Energy's technology, including their bidirectional chargers and the V2G platform. This underscores the significance of interoperability in V2G technology development. The research aims to identify customer benefits and formulate effective communication strategies to convey the potential advantages of bidirectional capabilities to BEV owners.

This collaboration is not unprecedented in this field. Battery Technology has previously reported various collaborations, each with significant implications for the widespread adoption of BEVs and the seamless integration of renewable energy sources into the grid. Traditionally, BEVs have been viewed as electricity consumers, but with V2G capabilities, they become contributors to the grid. This shift transforms BEVs into flexible energy assets that can charge during low-demand periods and discharge electricity back to the grid during peak hours or critical times.

Related:Stellantis’s Oliver Gross: V2G Can Be a Complete Game-Changer

One of the critical advantages of V2G technology is its potential to enhance energy reliability and resilience. By allowing BEVs to act as mobile energy storage units, the grid gains additional support during peak demand or in emergencies, such as rotating outages due to electricity shortages. This capability contributes to the overall stability of the power grid, providing a potential solution to challenges associated with renewable energy intermittency.

The research collaboration is strategically located in SDG&E's service territory, encompassing many Toyota BEV and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) owners. Conducting the research in California, the fastest-growing EV market in the nation, allows the collaboration to gather valuable insights into real-world scenarios and challenges related to V2G technology.

Related:Will Vehicle-To-Grid Technology Finally Shoot Up?

“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,” stated 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 hybrid and BEVs on their grids, both as a growing source of energy demand and, in the future, energy supply.”

Understanding how bidirectional capabilities can be communicated to and embraced by BEV owners is crucial for widespread adoption. The findings from this collaboration may pave the way for new products and services, shaping the future landscape of EV infrastructure and contributing to realizing a sustainable and resilient energy future. The global V2G market is expected to reach US$ 15.4 Billion by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 44.38% during 2021-2027.

About the Author(s)

Maria Guerra

Senior Editor-Battery Technology, Informa Markets Engineering

Battery Technology Senior Editor Maria L. Guerra is an electrical engineer with a background in Oil & Gas consulting and experience as a Power/Analog Editor for Electronic Design.  Maria graduated from NYU Tandon School of Engineering with a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering (MSEE). She combines her technical expertise with her knack for writing. 

Sign up for the Weekly Current newsletter.

You May Also Like