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 has been quietly building an advantage over electric car rivals'
Opinion Nissan EV
Nissan

'Nissan has been quietly building an advantage over electric car rivals'

Steve Fowler thinks Nissan is in a great position to build on the Leaf's success
8 Apr 2021
Nissan Qashqai, Juke and X-Trail pass 1m UK sales landmark 
nissan qashqai
Nissan

Nissan Qashqai, Juke and X-Trail pass 1m UK sales landmark 

93 per cent of all Nissan crossovers sold in Britain since 2007 have been made in Sunderland thanks to the success of the Qashqai and Juke 
11 Feb 2021
How to use a car tyre puncture repair kit
Tyre repair
Nissan

How to use a car tyre puncture repair kit

Everything you need to know about using a car tyre puncture repair kit - and when you shouldn’t!
3 Feb 2021
Nissan confirms Sunderland will stay open due to Brexit deal
Nissan Ariya concept
Nissan

Nissan confirms Sunderland will stay open due to Brexit deal

The uncertainty surrounding the plant’s future has been resolved – but Nissan will make changes to keep the plant profitable
22 Jan 2021

Most Popular

'Nissan has been quietly building an advantage over electric car rivals'
Opinion Nissan EV
Nissan

'Nissan has been quietly building an advantage over electric car rivals'

Steve Fowler thinks Nissan is in a great position to build on the Leaf's success
8 Apr 2021
New Citroen C5 X flagship crossover set to offer ‘ultimate comfort’
Citroen C5 X - front
Citroen C5

New Citroen C5 X flagship crossover set to offer ‘ultimate comfort’

The new flagship Citroen C5 X will arrive with petrol and plug-in hybrid power, and looks set to cost from around £27,000 when it arrives in the UK in…
12 Apr 2021
Volkswagen Golf GTD vs BMW 120d
VW Golf GTD vs BMW 120d - main
Volkswagen Golf GTD Hatchback

Volkswagen Golf GTD vs BMW 120d

Can the Volkswagen Golf GTD or BMW 120d prove diesel isn't dead?
10 Apr 2021