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Stop thinking of Toyota Motor Corp. (TM) as just a car company.

Henceforth, think of Toyota as both a car manufacturer and a key supplier of what may well become THE component of the coming “smart” energy revolution.

Oh, and in case somebody in Washington is listening: unless you want billions of taxpayers’ dollars to go down the drain, you’d better get General Motors in touch with its inner HEMS. (You too, Ford Motor Co. (F)).

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Typical of so much important energy and environmental news these days, there’s been almost no mention in the U.S. of Toyota’s new Home Energy Management System – HEMS for short.

But a product like Toyota’s HEMS appears likely to become the lynchpin of a “smart” energy revolution that changes everything about how energy is produced and consumed by your car or truck as well as your home.

Toyota’s HEMS will be capable of carrying out the smart energy revolution’s primary directive – namely, optimizing and minimizing energy production and consumption – by serving both as a smart meter and as an energy storage system.

As a smart meter, HEMS will serve to control the energy usage of home HVAC systems, lighting and appliances. As an energy storage system, HEMS reportedly will be capable of working in combination with an onsite solar photovoltaic system, storing that power for use on demand in either the home or – and this is where it gets really cool – in a plug-in hybrid or all-electric vehicle.

Think of the marketing advantage Toyota will enjoy when, starting probably in 2011 or 2012, it will be able to sell its plug-in vehicles together with HEMS systems that basically will enable drivers to fuel up for free while simultaneously slashing their home utility bills.

Not surprisingly, Honda Motor Co. (HMC) is working on something similar. In its own way, Best Buy Co. (BBY) is too, the electronics retailer having recently announced plans to sell electric motorbikes.

The era of crossover energy and household marketing is rapidly coming into view.

Disclosure: No Positions

Source: Toyota: A 'Smart' Housing Play for All Long-Term Investors