At the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, Nissan introduced their new ‘Nissan Energy’ program. The aim of the concept is to make electric vehicles even more useful to its owner. They plan on introducing new convenient ways to utilise the batteries’ ability to store and share energy by connecting electric cars with homes, businesses and power grids. Additionally, Nissan also wants to develop systems for recovering old batteries so they can be recycled and reused.
Owners of Nissan electric vehicles will easily be able to connect their cars with energy systems to charge their batteries, power homes, and businesses or even feed energy back into the grid. Nissan has already implemented programs in America, Japan, and Europe to create an “ecosystem” around its range of electric vehicles. This includes the Nissan LEAF, the world’s best-selling electric car. The Nissan Energy program aims to bring these initiatives together as part of Nissan’s Intelligent Mobility strategy.
As stated by Daniele Schillaci, global head of marketing, sales and electric vehicles, “Nissan Energy will enable our customers to use their electric cars for much more than just driving – now they can be used in nearly every aspect of the customer’s lives. Nissan Intelligent Mobility vision calls for changing how cars are integrated with society, and Nissan Energy turns that vision into reality.”
Global Nissan Energy Initiatives
High-profile Nissan Energy initiatives involve a variety of locations which includes Nissan’s North American headquarters. Below is a breakdown of how and where the Nissan Energy program will be implemented.
- Franklin, Tennessee: Nissan North America plans to use Nissan LEAF vehicles to help power their headquarters during peak electrical demand times. They are anticipating significant overall cost savings.
- Hagen, Germany: Nissan LEAF vehicles will be used as reserve power for the German electricity grid. This innovative pilot project involves a few major players, including Nissan’s technology company, The Mobility House; energy supplier ENERVIE and transmission system operator, Amprion.
- Japan: Nissan is working with several electric and telecom companies to conduct field tests of vehicle-to-grid (V2G) and virtual power plant systems. The plan is to test, verify and promote opportunities where electric vehicles can assist with managing energy.
How Does Nissan Energy Work?
The Nissan Energy program will establish new standards for connecting vehicles to energy systems. It focuses on three key fields, namely Nissan Energy Supply, Nissan Energy Share and Nissan Energy Storage. Let’s take a look at how it all works.
Nissan Energy Supply
Energy Supply involves making Nissan’s electric vehicles “smarter”, meaning that the car will be able to provide owners with more information about the location of charging stations, among other functions. A much-revised navigation system makes all of this possible along with the NissanConnect app.
Nissan Energy Share
Nissan wants to make it possible to share energy between V2H (Vehicle-to-home), V2B (Vehicle-to-building) and V2G (Vehicle-to-grid). In some cases, companies or individuals will use V2H and V2B to save on electricity costs. Even more useful, is using electric cars to provide sufficient energy to a house or building in the event of a power outage. While it likely won’t be enough for the entire premises, it will help power all of the essentials until the electricity comes back on.
In addition, when a car is not in use, it could also send energy back into a city’s electrical grid (V2G). This extra energy could be re-used during peak usage times or other useful periods. Just imagine the possibilities in a South African context as it could help ease the burden of the inevitable load shedding schedule.
Nissan Energy Storage
This involves creating a system to recycle and reuse old car batteries. In some cases, recycled batteries could easily power a forklift. Nissan also mentioned that some old Nissan LEAF batteries were recycled and used for generators to power an entire sports complex.
The possibilities of using electric cars and new energy storage and sharing systems are nearly endless. Such initiatives have taken the world by storm and the next few years will give a clear indication of where we are heading.
While it may be some time before South Africa’s EV market is on par with the rest of the world, the immense benefits of establishing the right infrastructure can no longer be ignored as Nissan continues to impress on a global scale developing electric vehicle technology and energy services systems.
At Group 1 Nissan, we keep track of all the global developments in the motor industry so that you always remain well-informed. Follow us on Facebook or keep an eye on our blog for all the latest news.