Nissan’s vision for its electric vehicles (EVs), at least in the UK, is to enable them to provide power to the public electricity system when at rest at home or work.
The company is launching a pilot programme to test the idea with 100 Nissan Leaf users. Users should be able to recharge their cars as normal, but their battery can be used to help provide power to the grid at times of peak demand.
The idea being that ultimately, EVs could become a significant contributor to the UK’s electricity supply 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. This could help balance some demand at peak times with power being sold back into the grid.
According to Nissan, the potential capacity from the 18,000 Leafs on UK roads is around 180MW, the equivalent of two power stations. Project partners include National Grid, Italian energy company ENEL and power management specialists Eaton.
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.