Pilot Program Leverages Energy Stored in Nissan LEAF to Help Power Buildings During Peak-Load Times
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Imagine a technology that could help companies save on their electric utility costs by simply using energy already stored in electric vehicles (EVs). Working with Fermata Energy, a vehicle-to-grid systems company, Nissan North America is launching a new pilot program under the Nissan Energy Share initiative, which leverages bi-directional EV charging technology to partially power its North American headquarters in Franklin, TN, and its design center in San Diego, CA.
As the name implies, bi-directional charging technology means not only charging the Nissan LEAF, but also pulling energy stored in the LEAF's battery pack to partially power external electrical loads, such as buildings and homes.
"As the only vehicle on the market utilizing bi-directional charging, the Nissan LEAF proves exceptionally useful while on the road and also while parked," said Brian Maragno, Director, EV Sales and Marketing, Nissan North America. "As a pioneer in the EV space, we're thrilled to continue to show new, meaningful technologies that leverage the LEAF's growing capabilities."
Ideal for companies with fleet vehicles, the Nissan Energy Share pilot program will continuously monitor a building's electrical loads, looking for opportunities to periodically draw on the LEAF's "lower-cost energy" to provide power to the building during more expensive high-demand periods. This constant monitoring, called demand-charge management, could result in significant electricity savings and could offer the secondary benefit of reducing the burden of peak loads on local utilities.
The Nissan Energy Share pilot program using Nissan LEAFs will serve as a test of both technology and business viability as Nissan and Fermata Energy investigate the outcome for possible commercialization.
Nissan also has a number of other "second-life battery" initiatives for Nissan LEAF batteries, including installing second-life LEAF batteries at its North American facilities along with investigating new recycling methods for lithium ion batteries. Leading the industry, Nissan has also received certification for second-life LEAF batteries to be used in stationary energy storage.
Under the global plan, called Nissan Energy, owners of Nissan's electric vehicles will be able to easily connect their cars with energy systems to charge their batteries, power homes and businesses or feed energy back to power grids. The company will also develop new ways to reuse electric car batteries.
Nissan has already begun programs in the U.S., Japan and Europe aimed at creating an "ecosystem" around its range of electric vehicles, including the Nissan LEAF, the world's best-selling electric car. Nissan Energy brings these initiatives together as part of the company's Nissan Intelligent Mobility strategy.
"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," said Executive Vice President Daniele Schillaci, Nissan's global head of marketing and sales. "Our Nissan Intelligent Mobility vision calls for changing how cars are integrated with society, and Nissan Energy turns that vision into reality."
Nissan Energy will establish new standards for connecting vehicles to energy systems through three key initiatives: Nissan Energy Supply, Nissan Energy Share, and Nissan Energy Storage.