The University of Colorado at Boulder's Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute (RASEI) - a joint venture with the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) - will partner with Toyota to conduct extensive testing on plug-in hybrid vehicles. The two-year long study will focus on the household experiences and technical impact of PHEVs in an area serviced by "smart grid" technology.
For its part, Toyota Motor Company will supply 18 of those low-priced plug-in Priuses to take part in the field trials. The vehicles should be arriving now and will circulate around in three-month stints to the 108 Boulder, CO residents that volunteered and were selected to take part in the "smart grid" study. Toyota explains the study's purpose in this way:
RASEI and Toyota Motor Sales, with the integral participation of Xcel Energy, will gather data on vehicle performance and electricity usage, as well as how households interact with vehicle feedback through "smart grid" technology.
Though the study is focused on gaining a thorough understanding of "smart grid" technology, the field trials present a perfect opportunity for Toyota to conduct more real-world testing of its plug-in Prius. Hit the jump for more on the plug-in Prius study in Boulder, CO. Hat tip to Dragan!