Nissan Leaf as a building power source?

Nissan is looking to showcase exactly how it is possible to power environments with the energy coming off of one of its all-electric Leaf cars.

To this end the Japanese automaker recently“carried out a successful early field test of a system that will allow companies to regulate their electricity bills using the batteries” of the vehicles.

image via Nissan

Known as the “Vehicle-To-Building” scheme, six Nissan Leafs were recently connected to a building’s power distribution board. Charging was “phased during the day so at peak hours, when electricity is most expensive, the building draws power from the cars.” The facility in question

benefited from a reduction of 25.6 kw during peak summer periods by controlling the charging time of the EVs, with no impact on the workers’ daily commute, or their vehicles. The results have led to approximately a 2.5-percent reduction of electrical power use during peak hours, a saving of nearly 500,000 Yen per year in electrical power cost (based on current Tokyo Electric Power Company’s rates).

One key function of the system will be to make sure the Leafs are fully charged by the end of the working day for their owners to drive home. Nissan next plans to refine this technology with homeowners in mind, envisioning “Leaf to Home” power units that provide an uninterrupted flow of electricity stored in the car’s high-capacity batteries.

If all goes as Nissan hopes, these home based systems could help encourage Leaf drivers “to charge their cars with electricity generated during the night, when demand is low, or sourced from solar panels. This assists in balancing energy needs by supplying electricity to homes/offices during daytime, when demand is highest. It can also be used as backup power source in case of a power outage and/or shortages.”

Nino Marchetti, EarthTechling