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Toyota, Texas Utility Partner on Vehicle-to-Grid Research

The Japanese carmaker has teamed up with Oncor, a Dallas-based utility provider, to research how energy can be pulled from an electric car’s battery and put back into the electric grid when it is under strain.

Toyota is collaborating with Dallas-based Oncor on research about how electric vehicles may be able to send power to the electric grid or to their home or community. (Tom Fox/Dallas Morning News/TNS)
Tom Fox/TNS

Toyota partners with Oncor on researching tech to send power from vehicles to grid

(TNS) — Toyota is joining forces with Texas’ largest regulated utility to research a new technology that allows energy to flow from an electric car’s battery back to the electric grid.

Plano-based Toyota North America and Dallas-based Oncor, which operates the largest electricity distribution and transmission business in the state, think the project – dubbed vehicle-to-grid, or V2G – will hasten the adoption of electric vehicles, according to the companies.

The Japanese automaker wants its electric vehicle customers to be able to use their cars to power their homes and their communities or to send power back to the electric grid when it’s overwhelmed, said Christopher Yang, group vice president of Toyota Electric Vehicle Charging Solutions team.

“Our collaboration with Oncor is an important step for us to understand the needs of utilities, as we plan to work closely with them to ensure every community can embrace Toyota’s shift to electrified vehicles,” Yang said.

Research on the relationship between electric vehicles and utilities will start at Oncor’s System Operating Services Facility in southern Dallas County. In Texas, Oncor delivers power to more than 3.8 million homes and businesses and operates more than 140,000 miles of transmission and distribution lines.

The research collaboration comes after Toyota released its first mass-market electric vehicle, the bZ4X, this year. Its first Lexus battery electric vehicle, the RZ 450e, will go to market early next year.

Also this week, Siemens eMobility announced an 80,000-square-foot electric vehicle charger manufacturing plant in Carrollton as the company works to build more than one million chargers in the U.S. over the next three years. The chargers built in Carrollton will be targeted for workspaces, hospitals, airports, campuses, parking garages and parking lots. It’s expected to create 100 jobs at the facility and across the regional supply chain.

In November, South Korean company SK Signet announced plans to redevelop a Plano building into an EV charger manufacturing facility to create up to 183 jobs by 2026. Like Siemens, SK Signet plans for its plant to be fully operational by mid-2023. It plans to invest $24.2 million in the facility.

Texas, which has about 157,000 electric vehicles, including more than 7,000 in Dallas, is getting $408 million over the next five years from the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which allocated $7.5 billion to build a nationwide network of 500,000 EV chargers. That’s the most of any state. Texas plans to use $147 million through 2023 to build 55 charging stations on Texas highways.

©2022 The Dallas Morning News. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.