Toyota is providing five of its Plug-in Prius hybrids for a new project in Indiana. Project Plug-IN is a partnership with Duke Energy and Energy Systems Network. "These pilots are key to understanding what electric vehicle owners expect from their charging experience which assists Duke Energy in maintaining overall grid reliability while minimizing costs for all customers," said David Mohler, VP, Emerging Technologies for Duke Energy.
Toyota will provide each of the selected homes in Indiana with a charging station and power-usage monitor that provides information on peak energy usage times. This allows drivers to dictate their own charging schedules and costs. “Smart charging through two-way communication with utilities will not only be a benefit to the customers but is crucial for the promotion of transportation electrification,” said, Edward Mantey, a vice president at Toyota Technical Center.
This is one of the first tests of the protocol for communications between vehicles, utility companies and manufacturers. It was developed last year by the Society of Automotive Engineers and will soon be globally standard. The EU has already passed laws requiring it for 2017.
Toyota already manufactures vehicles in Princeton and Lafayette, Indiana so this state is an ideal place for the project.