Owners of Nissan's electric hatch can sell their car’s extra energy to the grid; trials are kicking off in the UK

Nissan is launching a new vehicle-to-grid charging scheme in the UK with its all-electric Leaf that will enable owners to sell extra energy stored in their cars' batteries back to the electricity grid for money.

The car maker revealed at an event in east London that it has been working with the UK’s National Grid and global power management company Eaton to develop a so-called xStorage system, which can transfer additional energy from a Leaf’s batteries to the grid.

Nissan Europe chairman Paul Willcox said a fully charged Leaf can power an average home for two days and that contributing to the grid with xStorage can earn owners as much as £600 a year in income.

“Currently there are about 18,000 Leafs in the UK, with energy equivalent to about two power stations,” said Steve Holliday, National Grid’s non-executive director. “If everyone drove a Leaf, there’d be enough energy to power Germany and Britain.”

The xStorage system has been developed by Eaton and costs £3000 to be supplied and installed. It works in much the same way as a conventional Leaf charger does, but with energy moving in the opposite direction. Up to 4.2kWh of energy can be stored at one time.

The trio of companies involved believe that once the technology has been adopted by a large number of people, it will help to maintain a more consistent energy supply with fewer peaks and troughs of supply than we see at the moment.

To illustrate how effective the technology is, Nissan has pledged to power all of its European buildings with vehicle-to-grid energy by the end of 2017. Three years later, it hopes to have sold at least 100,000 xStorage systems to the market.

The system will first be trialled in the UK with 100 Leafs, before being offered to British customers in October of this year. It’ll also be rolled out into other parts of Europe alongside this.

“The electric car is here to stay, and Nissan is the world’s leading electric car supplier,” said Willcox. “Forecasts predict that there’ll be 2.4 billion cars on the world’s roads by 2050. We’re leading the way to intelligent mobility.”

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19

10 May 2016
autocar wrote:

Nissan Europe chairman Paul Willcox said a fully charged Leaf can power an average home for two days and that contributing to the grid with xStorage can earn owners as much as £600 a year in income.

The obvious question being what do you do when you want to drive the car but find there's not enough battery power? Perhaps Nissan intend to sell a diesel Qashqai to all those who question their wisdom.

10 May 2016
I did some reading up on the system, the idea is that the batteries stored energy can be used during peak time (basically gives the national grid more capacity without the costs of maintaining it). The other idea of it is that it will also charge up the car during off-peak times for you (saving you money). I like the idea, but do think the idea is more about setting up the ground works for when hydrogen powered cars become a thing and can produce energy of its own.

10 May 2016
I could see the point if you charged the car at night (cheap electricity when the demand is low) and sold it in the day (during peak periods) for a higher rate = ££££. But what happens if I want to pop to the local curry house for my favorite bowel churning dish to accompany me while I watch the latest *insert generic prime TV program that's currently popular* ? My LEAF is as about as useful as a chocolate fireguard, a £30k garden ornament.

10 May 2016
Firstly you can get up off your backside and walk for some exercise (burn off the excess calories in that curry half of which you probably dont actually need to eat) and secondly, it aint gonna use ALL of the electricity stored in it, so it WONT be a "£30,00K garden ornament".

11 May 2016
typos1 wrote:

Firstly you can get up off your backside and walk for some exercise (burn off the excess calories in that curry half of which you probably dont actually need to eat) and secondly, it aint gonna use ALL of the electricity stored in it, so it WONT be a "£30,00K garden ornament".

First, you assume I have a pair of legs. Although I do in this case, for now.

Second, you assume that I live within walking distance of a curry house. Incorrect, the nearest one is 20 miles away.

Thirdly, you assume I would not finish a curry from said curry house. You underestimate me. I am a gourmand, especially with Indian cuisine.

My turn. I assume you're an ignorant buffoon who doesn't understand Internet humor. Am I right?

10 May 2016
Riiiiiiight. So it costs the car's owner 3 grand to buy and install this charging and link to the Grid gizzmo.

People then have to charge the car, presumably use the car then, flog the unused charge in the battery pack back to the grid and re charge the car again at cost to themselves so they can use it the next day.

Am I missing something here?

10 May 2016
At first, this sounds like lifting yourself up by your own shoe laces. Almost illogical. But then, I realise that my car is used approximately 5% of each 24 hours (I do 10,000 miles a year). So allowing for overnight charging, there is some merit in the battery actually doing something useful during the day/evening when it is not being driven and not on charge. If the system only ever depletes the battery to, say, 30% charge remaining, then that should leave enough in the car at any one time for impromptu use.

10 May 2016
If this government is serious about the EV gaining sails they really do need to improve the existing Nation Grid infrastructure and capacity. Expecting electric cars to put a little bit back into the grid when things get a little difficult is like expecting nurses to put a little bit back into the coffers at the NHS when the chancellor gets his sums wrong.

 Offence can only be taken not given- so give it back!

10 May 2016

If 18,000 is 2 power stations currently, say that doubles in 5 years (potentially not just leaf's either), even if you take 25% of the power at, you've got yourself a power station for free effectively at peak times, which is when you need it.

Given that the government can't get Hinkley Point C started, and it will be 2025 anyway before it does start producing power, this will be well worth it.

11 May 2016
This sounds like a scam designed to line the pockets of a few of our Dear Leaders friends.
If the idea of parking up 9000 Nissan Leafs to replace 1 power station made any sense then that would be a lot cheaper than developing the next power station. So whats to stop the National grid incorporating this type of supply into the existing infrastructure? Probably because it would be a very inefficient way of producing electricity. Even more so when that battery is needed to supply power to keep your vehicle moving. The question Sam should have asked is who decides when your Nissan Leaf has spare capacity, how does this system know if your about to embark on a journey that would normally require the full capacity of the battery fitted to your car ?

 Offence can only be taken not given- so give it back!

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