Many people think of an electric car as just an electric vehicle (EV), a car that runs on electricity rather than on fossil fuels. But it can go way beyond just being a set of wheels to being a source of power for your home.
There are a number of car manufacturers operating in the energy storage space. Tesla looks as though it will fail to deliver on its promise to sell its cars in SA in 2018, but it is already selling its PowerWall storage devices. Mercedes-Benz is also getting in on the act with its own home and office energy storage solutions.
Nissan is looking beyond the A2B use of the electric car and instead has been researching how it can be a key part of an ecosystem. Recently the company staged the Nissan Electric Ecosystem Experience in Tenerife, demonstrating the brand’s commitment to Nissan Intelligent Mobility to transform the way people drive, and beyond the car, the way we can all live.
Philippe Saillard, senior vice-president, sales and marketing, Nissan Europe, said: “Nissan kick-started the electric vehicle revolution almost a decade ago. In that time we’ve sold more EVs than any other manufacturer. But this is just the beginning. Through our vehicles and investments in infrastructure and energy services, we are on a mission to look beyond the car and transform the way we all live. This is the electric ecosystem and, through our Nissan Intelligent Mobility vision, we will revolutionise the industry and modern life as we know it.”
Nissan partnered with the Institute of Technology and Renewable Energies (ITER) to host the experience at ITER’s complex in Tenerife. With 25 years of experience in engineering and telecom, ITER has built a bioclimatic site powered by renewable energy from wind farms and solar panels.
Not surprisingly, at the centre of the experience was the second generation Nissan Leaf, which the company says now has a claimed average range of 378km. The company has tested it under the new European range criteria though and is claiming the Leaf can now travel 270km in a combined environment (city and highway) and 415km in city conditions on a single charge.
Nissan has also reiterated its mission to offer customers free power for their EVs, although currently this is confined to Europe. Over the past year in Denmark, the company has been testing this new way of driving. Going forward, this has become an offer open to all fleet customers in Denmark.
Using Nissan bi-directional charging, customers can draw energy from the grid to power their car or van and then sell it back to the grid for others to use. This means, once a nominal charge has been paid by the business for the installation of a V2G charger, there are no fuel or energy costs — just free power for their EV.
And Denmark is just the start. In the UK, Nissan has collaborated with OVO Energy to allow customers to purchase an xStorage home energy unit at a discounted price, enabling them to sell back energy to the grid.
It can result in an additional income for users and the company is looking at how to expand the offering to other markets.
The xStorage Home units, which have been installed at every house in ITER, will also be part of a pilot project in an as yet unnamed country in Africa.
It will help providing sustainable energy to local communities in developing countries which do not have access to energy today. – BD Motor News