Hive Batteries From 10 Million Nissan Electric Cars Could Power Whole U.K.

Critics argue that electric vehicle proliferation is not sustainable because electricity networks won’t be able to cope with everyone plugging in their EVs masse. But, it could be that the opposite is true: batteries-powered vehicles could pump electrons into the power grid. EVs can be used only when they aren’t being used. This is the case, as with most motor vehicles.

The future of electric vehicles could be a bidirectional, hive-style battery resource. It would store green energy and feed it back into the electricity grid during peak demand.

The $27,400 Nissan Leaf electric car is one of few that can be both sucked in power and pump it back out. Ariya, the Japanese manufacturer’s all-electric crossover SUV recently named “Car of the Year” by Auto Express, is also equipped with this technology. Ten million Nissan EVs could theoretically be used to meet the entire U.K’s peak electricity demand using the company’s Energy Share mode.

The U.K. has 32 million registered motor vehicles. Only 500,000 of these motor vehicles are currently all-electric. However, as the U.K. bans new petrol and diesel cars by 2030, EV adoption will accelerate. In the pre-pandemic era, approximately two million cars were registered every year. Jato, an automotive analyst, estimates that around 4.2 million electric vehicles will be sold in 2021 worldwide. This is up 108% from 2020 and 198% from 2019.

It is possible to imagine that almost half of all motor vehicles in the United Kingdom could be electric or hybrid by 2030.

When it was primarily introduced in 2010, the Leaf was a pioneering electric car. In 2019, Nissan released a second-generation version. In 2019, Nissan introduced a second-generation Leaf. Sunderland, in northeast England, is home to 100,000 electric vehicles per year.

Nissan EVs come with a CHAdeMO and a standard CCS charging port. The CHAdeMO…

Nissan’s electric cars can store and pump electricity, sucking it in for propulsion. They are equipped with CHAdeMO charging points in addition to standard CCS ports. CHAdeMO is a Japanese standard charging mode, but automakers have not included it on vehicles outside Japan.

Nissan Leaf cars in Japan have been powering disaster relief efforts, particularly after earthquakes, for more than ten years.

Net zero

Fracking continues to be a viral topic in the U.K. Key supporters of the Tory leadership race want their preferred candidates to resume fracking and abandon net-zero commitments. Since 2019, more electricity has been produced in the British Isles from clean sources than from fossil fuels. The growth of onshore and offshore wind farms and the closing of coal plants have made transport the most significant source of greenhouse gas emissions in Britain. It is, therefore, a natural step for politicians to encourage the use of electric cars.

The National Grid, the U.K.’s electricity provider, believes that energy demand won’t exceed supply and is anticipating a 10% rise in electricity use even though “we all switched over to EVs overnight.”

If electric cars could be charged with domestic solar power or hooked up at off peak times, then this electricity could be sold to the grid at peak times. This would make EV owners more money and help the grid smooth out the fluctuations in energy supply.

The U.K.’s household energy bills grew by 54% between April 2022 and October 2022. This is a record-breaking increase.

Vehicle-to-grid

The process of hooking up an electric vehicle to supply the grid is known as vehicle-to-grid or V2G. V2B is the hookup of an electric car to power a home. VGI is the generic ability for EVs or power packs to feed into the grid, buildings, or other infrastructure.

The most widely-available EVs are the Nissan Leaf, Nissan’s electric van, and the new Ariya. They all feature vehicle-grid integration.

The CCS Charging System is expected to be compatible by 2025.

The U.K. government has supported VGI. The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (DBEI) and Office for Zero Emission Vehicles have supported many projects, which generally use the Sunderland-built Nissan Leaf. These projects include OVO Electric Vehicles and Octopus Electrical Vehicles, which will soon report their findings.

Ex-Nissan Leaf batteries are still in use at Ajax stadium in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

VGI projects are already in operation in Europe, including one in Denmark. It has been commercially operating since 2016. This collaboration was between Enel, Nissan, and Nuvve, an American VGI specialist, established in 2010. (To make VGI technology available in the U.S., Nuvve signed an agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy earlier this year.

In 2008 Nissan provided retired EV batteries for backup power and VGI capabilities to the Johan Cruijff Arena, Amsterdam, which is home to Ajax Football Club. The roof of the arena houses 4,200 solar panels. The electricity generated by the panels is stored in the equivalent of 148 Nissan Leaf batteries. Any excess electricity is sold to the Dutch national grid.

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Adam Collins
Adam writes about technology, business and economics. With master's degree in Economics, he's presented six papers in international conferences. As a solivagant in the constant state of fernweh, curiosity is the main weapon in his arsenal.

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