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

Renault and Nissan suffer heavy losses in 2020
Renault

Renault and Nissan suffer heavy losses in 2020

Renault posted a loss of almost £6.6 billion for the first half of 2020 – and Nissan’s finances took a £1.12 billion hit
30 Jul 2020
New Nissan logo revealed alongside Ariya electric SUV
Nissan

New Nissan logo revealed alongside Ariya electric SUV

Just like Volkswagen, Nissan has revealed a new logo to kickstart its EV revolution
15 Jul 2020
New Nissan Ariya electric SUV unveiled ahead of 2021 launch
Nissan Ariya

New Nissan Ariya electric SUV unveiled ahead of 2021 launch

The Nissan Ariya, a rival for the Tesla Model Y, has arrived with a maximum range of 310 miles and pricing from around £37,500
15 Jul 2020
Nissan Sunderland: Factory's future dependent on Brexit deal
Nissan Ariya concept
Nissan

Nissan Sunderland: Factory's future dependent on Brexit deal

Nissan's vast Sunderland plant survived global cost-cutting measures from Japanese maker, but its future is still in the balance
3 Jun 2020

Most Popular

New DVLA service lets you order replacement logbooks online
News

New DVLA service lets you order replacement logbooks online

Around 500,000 replacement V5C logbooks are ordered every year; new service cuts waiting time from six weeks to five days
29 Sep 2020
New heavy-duty Ford Transit 5.0-tonne revealed
Ford Transit

New heavy-duty Ford Transit 5.0-tonne revealed

Beefed-up version of the Ford Transit can carry a payload of 2,383kg and support a gross vehicle weight of 5,000kg
30 Sep 2020
Honda Jazz vs Toyota Yaris
Hybrid cars

Honda Jazz vs Toyota Yaris

It's a battle for small hybrid supremacy as we test the Toyota Yaris against the Honda Jazz
28 Sep 2020