Japanese carmaker Nissan and European power provider Enel have inked an agreement to jointly develop an innovative Vehicle 2 Grid system that allows drivers of electric vehicles and energy users to operate as individual “energy hubs.” As energy hubs, they could use, store and return electricity in excess of the power grid. The deal was signed during 21st UN Conference on Climate Change (COP21) in Paris, France.
The so-called Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) technology allows EVs to be fully integrated into the electricity grid by enhancing the capability of the grid to handle renewable power. V2G is expected to render renewable energy sources to become more diffused and affordable. V2G-enabled EVs and related V2G charging infrastructure should provide EV owners as well as companies with large EV fleets an opportunity to create mobile energy hubs that would integrate their units with the grid.
For instance, owners of Nissan LEAF EVs could charge their units at times when there is low demand and when tariffs are cheap. Once the cost of electricity spikes up during high demand or when tariffs are high, Nissan LEAF owners could use the electricity stored in their units' battery at home.
They could feed the electricity back to the grid for additional returns. The companies are conducting trials to determine whether Grid Integrated Vehicles are viable or not. This marks the first time that such systems are being tested to show how EVs could actively contribute to the development of the energy market.
This deal between Nissan and Enel will pave the way for the introduction of the first Grid Integrated Vehicles to countries where regulation permits value generation.
To put that in perspective, if all vehicles in France are either EVs or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, their grid integration could generate power of up to 380 GW, which is around three times the country's national generation capacity.
The agreement between Nissan and Enel also covers joint collaboration on other solutions like energy management services using 2nd life and new batteries, as well as charging stations and electric taxi cooperatives.