Jan 11th, 2023
WattTime unveils new health-focused power grid emissions signal, partners with Toyota and Lexus for first implementation
Oakland, Calif. — January 11, 2023 — Environmental tech nonprofit WattTime and Toyota Motor North America (Toyota) today announced a partnership enabling electric vehicle (EV) drivers to further reduce the greenhouse gas emissions and human health impacts from vehicles. The ECO Charging feature integrated into Toyota and Lexus apps as part of Remote Connect is currently available for customers with eligible plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and battery electric vehicles (BEVs).
“Through our partnership with WattTime, we are providing customers an easy and accessible way to identify when they can charge their vehicle while also helping reduce environmental impacts,” said Steve Basra, group vice president, Connected Technologies, Toyota Motor North America.
WattTime’s emissions data provides the information necessary for smart devices such as EVs and thermostats to align their energy usage with moments of cleaner energy and avoid moments of dirtier energy. This is possible because not all power plants are on or running at full capacity at all times. More- and less-emitting power plants turn on or off, or ramp up or down, at different times.
Until now, WattTime’s emissions data has focused solely on timing energy use to moments when power plants produce less carbon emissions. Today’s announcement signals a new way for WattTime data to be used to reduce the human health impacts of electricity consumption, specifically for owners of EVs. This is particularly important for disadvantaged communities where high-emission power plants are clustered in a particular area, thereby causing a disproportionate burden to those communities.
For example, on the New York grid, ramping up a power plant upstate can cause significantly less harm to people’s lungs than getting the same amount of electricity from all the fossil-fueled peaker plants in the middle of Queens, where the power plants — and their emissions — are surrounded by densely populated communities.
“The key is knowing which power plants will respond — which will turn on or off — based on when people use electricity,” explained Gavin McCormick, founder and executive director of WattTime. “Now, Toyota and Lexus EV owners can use their app to prioritize charging during moments that better protect people’s lungs. We are thrilled to be launching this updated application to multiply the good work the innovators at Toyota have already done in slashing pollution.”
The Toyota and Lexus app software, as part of the Remote Connect ECO Charging feature, combines the customer’s own charging needs with electricity emissions data from WattTime to propose a charging schedule that is likely to reduce both the health impacts and carbon emissions of charging with electricity from the grid.
Even before emissions-optimized charging, EVs cause less pollution than traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) automobiles. Smart charging powered by WattTime’s emissions data can increase that beneficial impact even further to make EVs up to 20% cleaner annually versus normal charging, according to a 2019 WattTime analysis. Those emissions reductions and cleaner air can benefit both people and planet.
“Our electrified vehicle customers select our vehicles not only to enjoy a best-in-class customer experience, but also to make a positive impact on our environment and society,” said James George, general manager, Toyota EV Charging Solutions. “We will continue to provide solutions both now and in the future in support of Toyota’s goal of creating a carbon neutral society.”
Eligible Toyota vehicles include PHEVs such as the Prius Prime and RAV4 Prime, as well as BEVs such as the bZ4X, which debuted in North America as the global automaker’s first pure battery EV. Lexus’ all-new RZ 450e BEV will go on sale early this year. In addition, Lexus offers PHEV options in the NX 450h+ and the forthcoming RX 450h+.
WattTime is an environmental tech nonprofit that empowers all people, companies, policymakers, and countries to easily and effectively supercharge emissions reductions from electricity use. Founded by UC Berkeley researchers, we develop data-driven insights, software, and tools that multiply the beneficial impact of clean energy solutions and slash emissions from fossil-fueled electricity. For more information visit www.watttime.org.
Toyota (NYSE:TM) has been a part of the cultural fabric in the U.S. for more than 60 years, and is committed to advancing sustainable, next-generation mobility through our Toyota and Lexus brands, plus our nearly 1,500 dealerships.
Toyota directly employs more than 39,000 people in the U.S. who have contributed to the design, engineering, and assembly of nearly 32 million cars and trucks at our nine manufacturing plants. By 2025, Toyota’s 10th plant in North Carolina will begin to manufacture automotive batteries for electrified vehicles. With the more electrified vehicles on the road than any other automaker, a quarter of the company’s 2021 U.S. sales were electrified.
To help inspire the next generation for a career in STEM-based fields, including mobility, Toyota launched its virtual education hub at www.TourToyota.com with an immersive experience and chance to virtually visit many of our U.S. manufacturing facilities. The hub also includes a series of free STEM-based lessons and curriculum through Toyota USA Foundation partners, virtual field trips and more.
For more information about Toyota, visit www.ToyotaNewsroom.com.
Lexus’ passion for brave design, imaginative technology, and exhilarating performance enables the luxury lifestyle brand to create amazing experiences for its customers. Lexus began its journey in 1989 with two luxury sedans and a commitment to pursue perfection. Since then, Lexus has developed its lineup to meet the needs of global luxury customers in more than 90 countries. In the United States, Lexus vehicles are sold through 244 dealers offering a full lineup of luxury vehicles. With six models incorporating Lexus Hybrid Drive, Lexus is the luxury hybrid leader. Lexus also offers eight F SPORT models and one F performance model. Lexus is committed to being a visionary brand that anticipates the future for luxury customers.
WattTime Media Contact
Nikki Arnone, Inflection Point Agency for WattTime
Toyota/Lexus Media Contact