Nissan installs vehicle-to-grid technology at Cranfield research centre

Car manufacturer Nissan has fitted its research and development facilities in Cranfield with its innovative vehicle-to-grid (V2G) concept, marking the first time the technology has been installed at the carmaker's facilities in Europe.

The carmaker announced on Friday (4 November) that the Nissan Technical Centre Europe (NTCE), based in the UK, had been fitted with eight V2G chargers by multinational energy provider Enel. The chargers will be available for all employees at the facility.

Nissan Europe’s director of energy services Francisco Carranza said: “Nissan has always been at the forefront of electric vehicle (EV) technology development and we’re excited to be using our expertise to help change the way people consume energy. Through the integration of Nissan EVs we can help shape a society whose energy use is sustainable, efficient and affordable. It could change the rules of the game and make energy cheaper for everyone.”

As part of a wider Nissan project to develop 100 V2G storage units in the UK, the eight charging points in Cranfield allows EVs to become fully integrated with the electricity grid. Nissan believes that, if fully integrated, the concept could save £2.4bn in electricity costs by 2030.

Nissan claims that the announcement marks an “important step” in an overall plan to highlight how zero-emission vehicles – including the 100% electric Nissan Leaf and the e-NV200 – can be connected with the grid to boost efficiencies.

NTCE’s vice president David Moss said: “The installation of the V2G chargers at NTCE is a significant moment for us. It gives us the opportunity to showcase to the world how the energy management systems Nissan is developing can work in a real-life business situation.

“Integrating it into our own facilities demonstrates the confidence we have in the technology and our steadfast belief that our electric vehicles can play a pivotal role in developing an ecosystem of technologies that work seamlessly together to create sustainable and efficient solutions for the future.”

Having previously trialled the initiative in Denmark, Nissan has since secured its first commercial V2G customer in Europe. Also located in Denmark, utility company Frederiksberg Forsyning had 10 V2G units installed at its headquarters in August.

Brexit boost

Nissan has recently provided a boost to the outlook of post-Brexit Britain, after it revealed that two new car models would be built at its solar-powered Sunderland plant, in a move that could safeguard 7,000 jobs.

Nissan agreed to the new UK-based production line after receiving assurances from business secretary Greg Clark over the UK’s impending exit from the European Union. However, the European Commission (EC) has sent an enquiry to the UK Government to find out what these promises are.

On Sunday (6 November) EC officials contacted the UK Government in regards to Clark’s talks with the Japanese firm. The EC can issue fines for any member state that has offered aid or financial assistance as a means to entice firms to relocate or base facilities in that country.

According to the Guardian, Clark has refused to publish details of his conversations with Nissan, because it “contains sensitive commercial details”.

Matt Mace

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