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Toyota joins Indianapolis smart charging project

Beginning in early 2013 and expected to last a year, the project is aimed at examining how scheduling of charging times can reduce demand spikes on the electrical grid, in turn cutting the chances of blackouts due to overloading.

The system allows vehicles to transmit their battery’s state of charge back to a utility company, which will be able to automatically stagger customers’ recharging times to even out the load on the grid. A standardised platform for this is being developed by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), allowing all carmakers to use the same system.

Toyota is to supply five Prius Plug-in Hybrids to households supplied by project partner and utility company Duke Energy in the Indianapolis area, each of which will also receive a home gateway communication system and home charging unit. Energy costs will be varied depending on the time of use.

Alex Grant

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