As the world responds to climate change, reducing greenhouse-gas emissions will require major shifts in how we generate and distribute electricity. Electric vehicles (EVs) are a game changer in this effort. Not only do they eliminate tailpipe emissions in the transportation sector, but by utilizing bi-directional charging technology, they can also serve as a mobile power bank storing the growing share of renewable energy helping EV owners optimizing on their energy bills or discharge energy at peak demands stabilizing the grid sustainability thus contributing to society. As individuals pay more attention to the impacts of energy sourcing, EVs with V2X are an essential part of this evolution.
In trials spanning Africa, Australia, Europe, Japan and North America, Nissan has been working to enable V2X charging with EV models.
What V2X is
V2X is a term that includes vehicle-to-home (V2H), vehicle-to-building (V2B) and vehicle-to-grid (V2G) charging. It allows an EV battery to discharge power into another source – such as a home, a business or even the electric grid – then recoup that power later by recharging off the grid.
V2X is already helping society today
V2X is already helping society by benefiting people and infrastructure. For individuals, it supports a reliable, lower-cost electric power supply. With V2H charging, for example, EVs can reduce utility bills by discharging power during periods of high demand — when homeowners might experience surge pricing —then recouping that power when demand and prices are lower. In practice, that could mean EVs discharge power when families arrive home from work or school, turn on the lights and run energy-intensive appliances such as air-conditioning, then recharge overnight as home energy usage goes down.
EVs can also mitigate outages by supplying electricity during disruptions from natural disasters, weather and brownouts. They can even function as mobile power sources, discharging electricity to help emergency responders operate during natural disasters.
Nissan RE-LEAF, working concept designed to show the potential of EVs in disaster management (UK)
V2X will become more integrated
V2X could also support power distribution and supply. By discharging power during peak demand and recouping it during low demand, it could support grid longevity by flattening demand curves (called “peak shaving”) for a more consistent power draw over time. That might even benefit EV owners who, for example, could offset parking costs by discharging power into the electrical grid when it’s needed most.
Wine-maker in Australia utilizing Vehicle to Grid technology for the solar-powered business
What Nissan is doing
From powering schools with sustainable energy to envisioning a way to help first responders set up command centers after a natural disaster, Nissan’s work in V2X charging spans the world. Efforts include:
・Nissan participated in a major government trial for consumers to see real-life demonstrations of V2G charging technology.
・V2G arrived in Australia when a Nissan LEAF owner became the first real-world user to help offset overnight energy usage at his solar-powered business.
・Nissan’s “i-rEzEPT” project, an intelligent integration of EVs into Germany’s power grid with 13 solar-enabled homes, received convincing scores in its first interim review.
・Amid disaster recovery efforts, Nissan’s Blue Switch program helped first responders charge tools and power a command center using Nissan LEAF batteries.
・Blue Switch highlighted Nissan’s work to transform society and solve regional issues through the popularization of EVs, with more than 200 activities underway.
・Nissan collaborated with the Japanese government on a demonstration project that showcased V2G capabilities through energy-storing charging stations and EVs offered for car-sharing services.
・Nissan conducted a V2B trial to study how EVs could flatten peak power consumption at an office building in Japan.
・Nissan partnered with convenience stores and municipalities to help power critical infrastructure after natural disasters, including local community centers in Chiba, Japan, after a 2019 typhoon.
・Nissan unveiled a way for EV owners to offset parking costs by discharging power from their battery packs while visiting an exhibition space in Yokohama.
・Nissan donated two LEAF EVs to a U.N. program to support a V2G project and showcase the impact of electric mobility on sustainable development and quality of life.
・Nissan’s e-NV200 powered the passions and sustainable approach to life for Michelle Des Bouillons, a professional surfer competing at Nazare.
・Nissan collaborated with Thai energy authorities to study V2G energy conversions with the LEAF.
・Nissan and E.ON successfully deployed 20 V2G chargers in a trial to demonstrate how EVs could support the grid and provide profitable, sustainable solutions for business fleets.
・Nissan, E.ON and Imperial College London collaborated to release a white paper highlighting the potential of V2G technology to drive for carbon savings and economic benefits.
・With the RE-LEAF concept, Nissan visualized a 100% electric emergency-response vehicle that could provide mobile power for first responders during disaster relief.
・Nissan worked with V2G services provider Fermata Energy to approve bi-directional charging with LEAF for owners in the U.S. market.
・Nissan launched a pilot program that leveraged bi-directional EV charging to help power facilities in California and Tennessee.
・Nissan announced plans to launch Nissan Energy, a system that enabled Nissan EV owners to charge their batteries, power homes and businesses or feed energy back to the grid.
・Nissan unveiled Nissan Energy Home, a demonstration house that showed how EVs could help power a home’s energy needs.
For more information, please visit the Nissan Energy Share page.