Nissan LEAF Powers Up Automaker’s U.S. Headquarters
Nissan presents bi-directional energy transfer, but will it pay off?
Together with Fermata Energy (a vehicle-to-grid systems company), Nissan will install bi-directional CHAdeMO chargers for Nissan LEAFs at its headquarters in Franklin, TN, and its design center in San Diego, CA.
The main idea is to help power buildings during peak-load times, reducing costly demand charges.
“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.”
“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.”
Brian Maragno, Director, EV Sales and Marketing, Nissan North America said:
“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. As a pioneer in the EV space, we’re thrilled to continue to show new, meaningful technologies that leverage the LEAF’s growing capabilities.”
If the V2G is not enough, Nissan has also a second-life battery project on its mind with old Nissan LEAF packs.
“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.”
The Japanese manufacturer intends to expand the usability of cars to much more than just driving and already developed an “ecosystem” around EVs. Ability to store energy in electric cars and bi-directional energy transfer offers:
- Vehicle to Home / Vehicle to Building / Vehicle to Grid systems
- improve solar electricity generation
- peak demand shaving
- emergency backup
- grid balance
Most recently, Nissan unveiled in Japan a Nissan Energy Home concept that demonstrates how Nissan LEAF with bi-directional charging can become “personal power grid”.
“Located in the Nissan Global Headquarters Gallery in Yokohama, the demonstration house features solar panels and a Nissan LEAF electric car that provides power from its battery pack. The Nissan Energy Home allows guests to learn about Nissan Energy, the company’s vision for connecting homes, cars and power grids, which was announced today.
Nissan Energy envisions a connected world where new developments in battery usage and power generation enable homes and vehicles to better harness energy and to power each other. This is a key aspect of Nissan Intelligent Integration – a pillar of Nissan Intelligent Mobility, the company’s vision for changing how cars are powered, driven and integrated into society.
Nissan Energy Share – combining power generation
At the heart of the Nissan Energy Home is a vehicle-to-home system. The system charges the connected electric vehicle, which then shares power with the home. This demonstrates Nissan Energy Share by using Nissan’s electric vehicle technology to store, share and repurpose energy.
During the day, when the sun is out, the solar panels generate electric power and forward it to the Nissan LEAF battery pack for charging. The LEAF assumes the role of an energy storage unit while the solar energy is harnessed.
When the sun goes down, the home’s electrical demands are managed by the Nissan LEAF to power lighting, air conditioning, televisions and even cooking appliances. The needs of a typical house can be provided using a small percentage of the battery capacity, leaving plenty of range for driving. The next day, the cycle is repeated.
Connecting with Nissan Energy Supply
Nissan Energy Supply provides connected charging solutions that customers may need at home, on the road and at their destination. Electric vehicle owners typically do the majority of vehicle charging at home, and the Nissan Energy Supply service verifies whether charging equipment, such as electrical sockets, wall boxes or power control systems, can be connected to Nissan electric vehicles safely.
A clean, powerful design
The Nissan Energy Home was designed by the company’s global “space design team,” headed by Alfonso Albaisa, senior vice president of global design. Wrapped in wood and clear walls, it expresses both Japanese tradition and modernity, with a sense of nature and sophistication.
Along the flooring and walls, blue illuminated power strips show the flow of energy from the solar panels or the Nissan LEAF battery. The open-air layout, with walking paths to each room, allow guests to move as freely as the energy moving around them.
The future of efficiency, today
The Nissan Energy Home isn’t a distant dream or future; it represents the possibilities of today, using existing technologies. Nissan Energy’s capabilities, whether it’s Nissan Energy Share or Energy Supply, can also be used as part of emergency relief efforts where the established power grid isn’t available.
“The Nissan Energy Home demonstrates the power of Nissan Intelligent Mobility and Nissan Energy, and how they can be integrated into your life – today and tomorrow,” said Executive Vice President Daniele Schillaci, Nissan’s global head of marketing, sales and electric vehicles. “This is merely the first of many demonstrations that our customers and fans will see regarding Nissan Energy, and we welcome them at our gallery in Yokohama.””
Press blast about the ecosystem:
Nissan to create electric vehicle ‘ecosystem’
Nissan Energy vision connects electric cars with homes, businesses and power grids; develops new ways to reuse batteries
YOKOHAMA, Japan – Nissan has created a vision to make electric vehicles even more useful to customers by introducing new convenient ways to utilize their batteries’ ability to store and share energy.
Under the 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, sales and electric vehicles. “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.
High-profile Nissan Energy initiatives extend to a variety of locations, including Nissan’s North American headquarters:
- Franklin, Tennessee: Nissan North America will be piloting the use of LEAF vehicles to assist in powering its headquarters facilities during peak electrical demand times, anticipating significant cost savings
- Hagen, Germany: LEAF vehicles will be used as a reserve for the German electricity grid, in an innovative pilot project involving Nissan, technology company The Mobility House, energy supplier ENERVIE and transmission system operator Amprion
- Japan: Nissan is working with partners such as electric and telecom companies, conducting field tests of vehicle-to-grid and virtual power plant systems to confirm and promote opportunities for electric vehicles to assist with managing energy
Nissan Energy Supply: Providing the connected charging solutions customers need at home, on the road and at their destination
Customers want to charge their electric vehicles when it’s most convenient, and the majority of charging takes place at home. Nissan’s efforts to assist customers includes verifying whether charging equipment, such as electrical sockets or wall boxes, can be connected to Nissan electric vehicles safely (market-dependent).
Away from home, customers can make use of the fast-growing CHAdeMO charging network – one of the world’s largest, with more than 22,000 quick-charging points globally.
Finding charging locations and hooking into the network – allowing Nissan Energy Supply to come alive – is made possible through the revised LEAF navigation system and easily available NissanConnect app.
Nissan Energy Share: Working with partners to harness energy integration potential
The batteries in an electric car can do more than just power the vehicle; they can also serve as mobile energy storage devices. Nissan vehicles already on the road contain more than 10 GWh of combined storage potential. Nissan Energy Share capabilities connect the vehicles with society’s infrastructure to allow them to share their high-capacity battery power with a connected home or building. They also allow the cars to link to the local energy grid to act as virtual power plants – supplying the vehicle’s power to the grid and contributing to efficient energy management. Thanks to these capabilities, customers will be able to share spare battery capacity without compromising their mobility.
Nissan has already carried out Energy Share pilot programs in Japan, the U.S., Europe and other markets, collaborating with several companies and organizations. Once the pilot tests are completed, Nissan will be ready to rapidly commercialize the systems.
- Vehicle-to-home (V2H): Nissan is working with partners to bring inexpensive equipment to the market to popularize V2H. Using V2H, owners of Nissan electric vehicles can use their cars as a power source for the household to save money on electricity bills, or as backup power during blackouts or emergencies. This allows the usage of renewable energy when available, or when electricity is cheaper.
- Vehicle-to-building (V2B): Similar to V2H, V2B makes use of electric vehicle batteries to store energy for buildings and businesses. However, a V2B system can involve hundreds of vehicles to realize major cost savings for a company. Full-scale trials of V2B systems have already started in many countries, and Nissan has been working with partners with the aim of bringing the systems to market in 2019.
- Vehicle-to-grid (V2G): Nissan has formed partnerships with utility companies and governments to harness V2G capabilities. In trials in Europe, Nissan cars are providing multiple services to the electricity grid – helping balance energy networks and incorporate renewable energy. Working with partners, Nissan is piloting ways to let customers earn additional income by sharing energy from their vehicles when they are not being otherwise used, without affecting the customer’s mobility needs or the health of the vehicles.
Nissan Energy Storage: Providing a “second life” to an electric vehicle’s battery
The life of a Nissan electric vehicle’s battery isn’t over after it has finished powering the car. The battery can be recycled and refurbished for a number of different uses – from powering electric forklifts and generators to supplying energy to a sports arena. As more and more customers switch to electric cars, the availability of used lithium-ion batteries is expected to increase significantly as owners replace their vehicles.
These are some of the Nissan Energy Storage programs to date:
- Japan: In 2010, Nissan joined forces with Sumitomo Corp. to establish 4R Energy Corp., which repurposes lithium-ion batteries from electric cars for new uses. The first 4R Energy plant opened its doors in March 2018. By using the battery-refabricating capabilities of 4R Energy Corp., Nissan is able to reuse batteries for EV applications, store energy or power heavy equipment, among other uses.
- Europe: Nissan has been reusing electric vehicle batteries as part of an advanced home power solution. In the U.K, the company has combined that energy storage with advanced solar panels. In June, Nissan inaugurated Europe’s biggest energy storage system at Holland’s Johan Cruyff Arena. Powered by 148 Nissan LEAF batteries, the system operates independently from the main power grid.
- South America: Nissan Brazil and the Federal University of Santa Catarina have signed a memorandum of intent to test solutions and future applications for used EV batteries.
“Nissan now offers customers a true EV ecosystem with Nissan Energy,” said Schillaci. “This is what we feel is the “new standard for electrification’ – it’s not just about owning a vehicle but taking advantage of all the associated benefits, for the customer and society overall.”