24 Oct 18

Nissan Leaf enables fleets to sell back electricity

The world's best-selling electric car will soon be able to give back electricity to the grid in Germany, Nissan announces. Indeed, the new Nissan Leaf is the first EV to obtain regulatory approval as an energy reservoir for Germany's power grid. 

Nissan has reached an agreement with The Mobility House, the energy utility Enervie and the transmission system operator Amprion that allows the Leaf to be integrated into the German grid as a standard power plant - a breakthrough to establish the so-called vehicle-to-grid technology (V2G) in Germany.

EVs needed to offset fluctuation

In order to succeed in this world-wide turnaround towards decentralized energy generation through renewable resources, innovative solutions are needed to stabilize the power grid. Indeed, the increasing use of renewable energies leads to fluctuations in the grid. In a first step, this must be compensated for by providing primary control power in order to prevent impending power outages within seconds.

Electric cars like the Nissan Leaf with integrated bidirectional charging technology can play an important role in this. Thanks to its ChaDeMo charging port, it can not only pull the power out of the grid and store it in the traction battery, but also feed it back when needed.

Not all EVs can do V2G

This bidirectional charging capability of the Nissan Leaf is a prerequisite for V2G. Nissan is one of the few OEMs that uses the ChaDeMo charging standard - nearly all European EV builders have opted for the competing system, CCS (Combined Charging System), which equally allows V2G. So does Tesla's Supercharger system - at least in theory.

Indeed, the Japanese OEM is a true pioneer in this area. Neither the Jaguar I-Pace nor the BMW i3, Hyundai Kona Electric, Tesla Model S and X or any other EV on the market today is equipped with the hardware that allows the battery to put power back into the grid.

Money-making EV ecosystem

The time has come to see an electric vehicle as much more than just a means of transport. In fact, it can take the shape of a money-making storage unit.

A bi-directional charger can take power from the Leaf’s battery and put it in a static battery pack, use it to power your company’s grid or send it to the mains. This static battery pack consists of re-used battery cells and can be scaled up to whichever size your company needs. Ideally, it is also fed by home-grown electricity, i.e. power produced by solar panels.

When connected to the mains, the power company can use both the static battery and the Leaf’s battery as buffers. They are topped up when there is more energy supply than demand, at a very favourable tariff. When power consumption increases, the power company takes energy back from the Leaf’s battery – down to a minimum level that is predetermined by the customer – and pays a higher tariff than what it billed to charge it.



Authored by: Dieter Quartier