Nissan launches trial to help Nissan electric cars sell energy back to the National Grid, and announces XStorage, a Tesla Powerwall style wall mounted battery for home use

Got a Nissan electric car? Nissan has just announced a scheme, V2G or ‘vehicle to grid’, that will enable owners to sell power from the car’s battery back to the national grid.

Why, however, would anyone want to empty their batteries back to the power company? In Nissan’s words, “the system works by allowing Nissan EV owners to connect to the grid to charge at low-demand, cheap tariff periods, with an option to then use the electricity stored in the vehicle’s battery at home and at work when costs are higher, or feed that electricity back to the grid, so generating additional revenue for the EV owner.”

Steven Holiday from the National Grid said, “The rapid uptake of Electric Vehicles is certainly positive yet could also be challenging if we don’t plan ahead to understand precisely what effect this new technology will have on the electricity system. Our Future Energy team predict that there could be up to 700,000 Electric Vehicles in 2020 requiring an extra 500MW of energy. That’s why we support innovative technologies and pioneering projects such as this one that have the potential to make a real difference to the way we manage energy supply and demand.”

The system is launching as a trial initially focusing on 100 Nissan EV owners who will use special bi-directional chargers, and follows similar trials in Europe and Japan.

In a related move Nissan also announced XStorage, a Tesla Powerwall style battery made from old Nissan LEAF batteries, that will enable home-based electricity generators, for example homes with solar panels, to store power for later use or sale back to the grid. Pre-orders for XStorage have a September release date, and it’s expected to cost £3,000.