Toyota has its Prius plug-in hybrid on the way for 2012 and intends to sell a Smart Center in Japan that will oversee the vehicle's electricity usage.
The Toyota Smart Center will relay its electrical utility readings to home televisions and smartphones by monitoring overall household electrical draw and the amount of charge the plug-in Prius demands. The TSC then determines the most cost-effective methods of saving on electricity costs by cutting flow to home appliances not in use and making maximum use of the electrical grid during off-peak hours. Users will be capable of setting the TSC up according to their own needs and lifestyles.
Toyota foresees the Smart Center and plug-in Prius reducing household energy usage by 75 percent versus a normal home with a comparable conventionally powered vehicle in an unspecified best case scenario.
The smart home-grid system will be launched in early 2012 for the Japanese market and is designed to only work with the plug-in Prius. Customers will also be able to remotely monitor the future Prius' battery state via smartphone.
Sources: The Detroit News, Toyota