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Nissan launches EV-to-grid trial

Date: 12 May 2016   |   Author: Daniel Puddicombe

Nissan has announced a UK trial which will allow electric vehicle owners to sell surplus energy from the battery back to the grid.

The Vehicle-To-Grid trial scheme, a joint venture between the Japanese manufacturer and power company Enel, will involve 100 private and fleet customers of the Leaf electric car and eNV200 electric van by the end of the year.

A spokeswoman for Nissan said it is in the process of identifying customers to take part in the trial.

The system works by allowing vehicle owners to connect to the grid to charge at low-demand tariffs with an option to then use the electricity stored in the vehicle's battery at home or at work when costs are higher, or feed that electricity back to the grid, generating additional revenue for the EV owner.

The storage system costs from £3200 for 4.2Kh. The Nissan spokeswoman told BusinessCar that it is hard to estimate how much money businesses can expect to make from selling back electricity "due to lots of variables in terms of the market and regulatory conditions" but said Nissan estimates it will take around six years to recoup the cost of installing the box.

Nissan claimed the V2G scheme could "revolutionise" how energy is supplied to the grid, saying that if all 18,000 Nissan EVs currently on the roads in the UK were connected to the grid, they would create the equivalent of a 180MW power plant.

"This trial in the UK is a significant step forward in renewable energy management, helping shape the future of industries, cities and societies," said Paul Wilcox, chairman of Nissan Europe. "We see Nissan electric vehicles as being the mobile energy hubs of the future, pioneering a self-sustaining energy infrastructure that will help solve the capacity issues of the future."

"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," he added.