Nissan shatters boundary between smart grid, electric cars

Article By : Christoph Hammerschmidt

Nissan, in partnership with energy provider Enel, plans to test a vehicle-to-grid system, and is about to establish an energy storage for domestic usage based on second-life traction batteries.

Nissan is aiming to come up with closer technological and business ties between electric driving and smart grids. In collaboration with energy provider Enel, the company intends to test a vehicle-to-grid system. In addition, Nissan is about to establish an energy storage for domestic usage based on second-life traction batteries.

The joint activity with Enel will be first launched in the United Kingdom. Nissan's concept provides for about 100 vehicle-to-grid charging stations for private and commercial users of Nissan's Leaf and eNV-200 electric vehicles (EVs). Users of such cars will be able to offer the battery capacity of their vehicles to buffer energy for the grid. Customers thus have the possibility to buy electricity in periods when it is cheap and resell this energy in high-demand periods and at higher prices. Thus EVs in the future will not only offer mobility but at the same time they will be able to act as mobile energy storage.

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__Figure 1:__ *Nissan partners with Enel for smart grid system. (Source: Nissan)*

The second-life battery project will be called xStorage. In principle it is an implementation of the same business model as the Enel joint activity: Buy electricity cheap and sell it at higher prices. For instance, owners could buy the surplus energy from solar panels during daytime and resell it in times of less favorable weather or during the night. Besides higher energy efficiency for domestic solar installations and in the home, xStorage also promises to bridge blackouts. The system consists of twelve battery cells per storage unit, amounting to a capacity of 4.2 kWh. Users can check status and control the system via a smartphone app.

As recently as past December, Nissan also announced a collaboration with energy management system manufacturer Eaton to develop stationary energy storage systems based on used Nissan traction batteries.

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