Nissan unveils new power system where electric cars feed energy back into the grid – Telegraph.co.uk
Nissan has revealed a vision of the future where batteries in its electric vehicles are used to power motorists’ homes and offices.
The company is launching a pilot programme in the UK where 100 of its Leaf electric cars can be plugged into the power network and energy in their batteries fed into the UK power system.
Motorists would be able to charge their cars as normal by plugging in but the batteries would also act as added capacity to the national grid, helping balance demand at peak times with power being sold back into the grid.
Motorists can also charge their cars at off-peak times, making motoring cheaper for them.
Nissan – which is the UK’s biggest car producer, turning out 400,000 vehicles a year from its Sunderland plant – believes that cars will become a part of Britain’s power supply network.
Paul Wilcox, chairman of Nissan Europe, said: “We believe electric vehicles can become mobile power units supplying cities and their homes, schools and hospitals. Some may think this is science fiction but we believe it is science fact. We are going to see more disruption in the industry over the next ten years than over the past decade.”
According to the company, the 18,000 Nissan Leafs currently on the road have a 180 megawatt energy capacity, the equivalent of two power stations. Partners in the project include National Grid, Italian energy company Enel and power management company Eaton.
Nissan is also taking a step away from the automotive industry and into power supply systems independent of cars, recycling batteries from Leafs as energy systems.
Called Xstorage, the home systems would draw power when electricity is cheap allowing households to be able to supply the average home for up to three days, according to Nissan.
The system will be available from October and owners will also be able to sell energy back to the grid when demand is high.
Steve Holliday, the former chief executive of National Grid and now a director of the business, said Xstorage owners would be able to sell power back to the utility through aggregator clubs, but in two or three years time they would be able to do so on an individual basis.