Boulder, Colorado – Toyota will partner with the University of Colorado in a field study of household experiences and the technical impacts of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHVs) in a “smart grid” environment. The partnership is with the university’s Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute (RASEI), a joint venture with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
Toyota will supply 18 Prius PHVs for the two-year program. The cars, which are slated to arrive later this month, will be circulated in three-month stints among 108 randomly-selected Boulder households that volunteered to be part of the “smart grid” pilot tests. The vehicles are part of a 150-vehicle demonstration program that Toyota is conducting throughout the U.S.
RASEI and Toyota, with the integral participation of Xcel Energy, will gather data on vehicle performance and electricity use, as well as how households interact with vehicle feedback through “smart grid” technology. The Boulder location also presents the opportunity to monitor the performance of Toyota’s first-generation lithium-ion battery at high altitudes and in cold weather.
A community blog on the field study will be hosted at Plug-In Hybrid.