Toyota just announced that it has developed a new vehicle-to-home (V2H) power system for the mutual sharing of power between electric vehicles and homes. The two-way electric power supply system can supply power from home to vehicle as well as from vehicle to home. Toyota is going to start testing the system in ten households at the end of 2012 with the help of the Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid vehicle.

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According to Toyota, an AC100 v inverter onboard the Prius PHV converts stored power into AC suitable for home use, while power flow is controlled according to communication between vehicle, charging stand and the home. With this new method, low-carbon electricity (“green” electricity) generated from regional or home solar generators, or low-cost late night electricity, can be stored in a vehicle’s drive battery and then used to supply power to the household during peak consumption times.

The vehicle’s batteries can also be used as a power source for a house during a blackout. Toyota estimates that with a fully charged battery and full tank of gasoline, a Prius PHV can supply power for average Japanese household electricity use for four days.

Interest in smart grid technology and expectations for the effective use of electric vehicle batteries has increased due to recent anticipated electricity shortages in Japan. Toyota also says that it has also developed devices that are capable of supplying electricity from PHVs directly to home devices for use at emergency shelters in the event of a disaster.

Through the development of the V2H system, Toyota aims to contribute to low-carbon and energy-efficient electricity use. Last month Nissan and General Electric also announced the development of a similar system.

+ Toyota