Plano-based Toyota Motor North America partnered with Oncor Electric Delivery to launch a pilot project to allow vehicles to flow energy from their battery packs to the grid. This collaboration is Toyota’s first utility agreement for electric vehicle (EV) charging.

The research will be led by Toyota’s Electric Vehicle Charging Solutions (EVCS) team, and its results are expected to shed some light on how to prepare the grid to support the EV charging ecosystem in the U.S.

“We envision a future where Toyota battery EVs provide a best-in-class mobility experience, but also can be utilized by our customers to power their homes, their communities or even power back the electric grid in times of need,” said Christopher Yang, group vice president of Toyota’s EVCS team, in an official statement. “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.”

Oncor executive vice president and chief operating officer Jim Greer expressed his hopes for this collaboration to help get the grid and ERCOT’s market better equipped for the near future. “Electrification is coming, and it’s Oncor’s job to build a safer, smarter, more reliable electric grid that can enable the needs of our customers,” said Greer. 

With this project, Oncor expects to have a better understanding of the infrastructure needed to enable the fast-paced growth of EVs and thor charging stations and the impact of vehicle-to-grid (V2G) on the electric grid.

The initial phase of the project will have the research team working with Oncor’s research and testing microgrid at its System Operating Services Facility (SOSF) in South Dallas. The microgrid includes a V2G charger station, solar panels and battery storage for testing. The two companies plan to use battery EVs along with the system to better understand the interconnectivity between EVs and utilities.

The second phase is slated to begin in 2023 and will include a V2G pilot where EVs will be connected to homes or businesses within Oncor’s service area.