The Nissan Leaf is the first electric car to receive approval to serve as stabilising back up of the grid in Germany. Nissan managed to take all regulatory hurdles for the vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology by working with partners from the energy sector.
Essentially the approval means the Nissan Leaf is now officially a mini power plant that may inject power into the net. To establish their V2G technology, Nissan had the backing of Daimler-funded The Mobility House, utility Enervie and German transmission system operator Amprion, which is co-owned by RWE.
A first installation opened today at a site of Enervie in the town of Hagen. Here the Leaf with its bi-directional charging capability serves as buffer. A software written by The Mobility House controls all energy flows.
The charging station allows currents of 10 kW to go in or out the Nissan Leaf battery. For now the technology can only be found at Enervie but Nissan plans to start offering the V2G station to business customers such as fleet operators from next year. Private clients will have to wait a while longer before setting up their own mobile mini power plant in their garage.
Nissan continues to use the ChaDeMo standard rather than CCS that German manufacturers in particular are pushing. CCS is capable of V2G services as well but no other carmaker has gone as far as Nissan in their effort to actually make this a legal and viable option yet.
Nissan has been working on V2G for some time though and is running other pilot projects. The first in Europe had been set up in Denmark, where Leaf owners receive a package including a home charging station and an energy flat rate in partnership with E.On. Both the utility and the Japanese carmaker intend to widen their cooperation into vehicle-to-grid technology (we reported). Nissan aims “to be recognised as the go-to automotive partner for energy services, with the ultimate ambition to provide free electricity for our EV customers,” said Paul Willcox, chairman of Nissan Europe.
Also in Great Britain, Nissan is involved in two major V2G projects for both private and commercial customers. They receive funding through the government’s Innovate UK initiative.