Nissan trials system to let Leaf owners sell electricity back to the grid

Vehicle-to-grid trials begin as part of £30million Government investment scheme; owners could benefit from free electricity

When the new Nissan Leaf was officially unveiled, much was made of its ability to absorb and feed back unused electricity to the national grid, helping balance out demand.

That process, known as vehicle-to-grid, or V2G, technology, was only theoretically possible at the time, though, as UK infrastructure wasn’t geared up to facilitate it.

BP to install electric chargers at UK forecourts

But a new trial, spearheaded by Nissan and the Government’s Office for Low Emissions Vehicles (OLEV), will see 1,000 vehicle-to-grid charging stations built in order to assess the future viability of V2G tech. The V2G process essentially allows electric cars and the national grid to communicate with each other, and offers a number of opportunities for owners of electric vehicles (EVs).

They can opt to use off-peak electricity to charge their vehicles, for example, saving money as a result. Or, should they wish, EV owners can be paid by energy suppliers to feed electricity stored in their cars’ batteries back to the grid.

This last option appeals to owners for obvious reasons, while energy companies benefit from the ability to better manage electricity supply during times of peak demand. V2G also turns electric cars into a network of storage batteries, helping to better manage solar, wind and other renewable generation methods. This allows, for example, surplus energy generated during particularly sunny or windy days to be stored in vehicle batteries for later use.

The £30million investment will be split between eight feasibility studies, five research projects and eight real-world V2G trials. The V2G trials are being run by the Government’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, and will see 1,000 V2G stations built over three years thanks to £9.8million in earmarked funding.

• Best electric cars 2018

Information generated by the chargers will be collected by a data “aggregator”, and used to “understand the technical characteristics of vehicle-to-grid charging for both the vehicles and the electricity networks”.

Nissan said the V2G trials could generate around £350 a year for Leaf owners, and served to “reiterate” the company’s “mission to offer customers free power for their EVs".

Electric cars are becoming ever more popular, but could you live with one? Allow us to explain the the pros and cons...

Recommended

Nissan launches combined PCP finance deal for electric car and charger
Nissan Leaf
Nissan

Nissan launches combined PCP finance deal for electric car and charger

The unusual new offer is available on the Nissan Leaf and e-NV200 van – and it includes the cost of installing the wallbox charger at your home
13 Oct 2021
New Nissan Primastar and Interstar panel vans unveiled
New Nissan Primastar and Interstar panel vans unveiled
Nissan

New Nissan Primastar and Interstar panel vans unveiled

The two new vans are updated, restyled and rebadged versions of Nissan’s NV300 and NV400 models
27 Sep 2021
New Nissan Townstar panel van unveiled with petrol and electric powertrains
Nissan Townstar
Nissan

New Nissan Townstar panel van unveiled with petrol and electric powertrains

The electric version of the Nissan Townstar features a 44kWh battery giving a maximum claimed range of 177 miles
27 Sep 2021
Used Nissan Pulsar review
Used Nissan Pulsar - front
Nissan Pulsar Hatchback

Used Nissan Pulsar review

A full used buyer’s guide on the Nissan Pulsar covering the Pulsar Mk1 (2014-2018)
15 Sep 2021

Most Popular

Best electric cars to buy 2021
Best electric cars
Electric cars

Best electric cars to buy 2021

There are more electric cars than ever to choose from, so we've picked some of the best you can buy in the UK now
19 Oct 2021
New Kia EV6 2021 review
Kia EV6 front tracking
Kia EV6

New Kia EV6 2021 review

With a sporty drive, 300-plus miles of range and plenty of tech - could the new Kia EV6 be one of the best electric cars on sale?
19 Oct 2021
The best 0% finance car deals 2021
Best 0% finance car deals - header
Best cars & vans

The best 0% finance car deals 2021

Tempted by a 0% APR deal? Here are our best 0% finance deals starting from only £145...
21 Oct 2021