Nissan and Enel join forces to start electric vehicle to grid trial in the UK

Carmaker Nissan and power company Enel have announced plans for the first electric vehicle-to-grid (V2G) trial in the UK. One hundred V2G units will be installed at locations agreed by private and fleet owners of the Nissan Leaf car and e-NV200 electric van, who will be able to sell stored energy from their vehicle battery back to the National Grid. It comes as Nissan also announced plans to offer EV batteries in a home storage unit (see below).

Paul Willcox, Chairman of Nissan Europe, said: “This is the first time this has ever been done in the UK and by enabling customers to sell energy back to the grid, we’re providing a financial incentive to choose the sustainable option.”

Ernesto Ciorra, Enel’s head of innovation and sustainability, said. “The installation of our innovative two-way charging technology will encourage the integration of non-programmable renewable energy flow into the grid and will help the spread of electric mobility in the country.”

National Grid’s Steve Holliday said: “The rapid uptake of electric vehicles is certainly positive yet could also be challenging if we don’t plan ahead to understand precisely what effect this new technology will have on the electricity system. Our Future Energy team predict that there could be up to 700,000 electric vehicles in 2020 requiring an extra 500MW of energy. That’s why we support innovative technologies and pioneering projects such as this one that have the potential to make a real difference to the way we manage energy supply and demand.”

Nissan said it already had 18,000 electric vehicles in the UK that could together export 180MW.

V2G charging infrastructure developed by Enel allows Nissan EV owners to connect to the grid to charge at low-demand, cheap tariff periods, with an option to then use the electricity stored in the vehicle’s battery at home and at work when costs are higher, or  feed back to the grid.

Meanwhile, Nissan and Eaton have unveiled a new domestic energy storage unit, dubbed ‘xStorage’, and available to pre-order from September 2016. The storage will deploy Nissan’s electric vehicle batteries after their first life in cars is over, with twelve Nissan EV battery modules in each unit.

The companies claim the unit, intended for use with PV, will be ‘plug and play’ and have smartphone connectivity to allow consumers to flick between energy sources.

Cyrille Brisson, vice president marketing, Eaton Electrical EMEA said: “Our system will be provided to end-users completely ready to use, with all required elements including cabling and installation by a certified professional, at a starting price of €4,000 (£3200) for 4.2KWh nominal. Our policy is to avoid hidden extra costs and achieve a lower total cost of ownership than other major offers already announced.”

Willcox said: “It is high time consumers were given the flexibility and power to control how and when they use energy in their own homes. ”

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