Ss part of the ‘Project Plug-IN’ initiative, Toyota is partnering with Duke Energy and Energy Systems Network (ESN) on a pilot designed to determine the best way to manage plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) charging based on integrated communication between the vehicle and the electric power grid.
The pilot, which will use advanced technologies to give customers the ability to minimize electricity costs by communicating with the utility company to recharge during off-peak periods, will also test and validate the effectiveness of communication standards developed by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) to provide a simple and affordable smart grid communication protocol between the vehicle, the charging station, and the utility company to effectively manage vehicle charging.
The project is using five Prius Plug-in Hybrid vehicles driven by Duke Energy customers living in the Indianapolis, Indiana, area. These customers will drive the cars regularly during the pilot period, which is scheduled to start in early 2013 and last for at least 12 months.
ESN President and chief executive officer Paul Mitchell explains, “Through Project Plug-IN, the Indianapolis region has been a national leader in the deployment and monitoring of plug-in vehicles with typical consumers, gathering data and taking steps towards making the ‘electric commute’ a truly practical alternative for more Americans. We’re pleased to extend this effort through the partnership with Toyota and Duke Energy, to help our vehicles, charging infrastructure and utilities speak the same language for the benefit of consumers.”
Toyota will provide a UL certified home charging station and a home gateway communication system to be installed in each customer’s home, enabling the vehicle and the smart grid equipment to communicate with each other to evaluate billing and power supply control. Duke Energy will simulate price structures and demand response events to understand the impact to the customer’s bill and understand how these types of programs can aid in grid reliability.