The car that can power your home

December 10, 2015

Nissan unveils two-way charger that will allow you to save money on your household bills at peak times by using energy stored in the battery of an electric car

Some experts have recently argued that a rise in the popularity of electric cars will place huge pressure on the National Grid at a time when it’s already struggling to cope with demand, but Nissan reckons they could actually help solve our energy problems.

At the 21st UN Conference on Climate Change, which is taking place in Paris this week, the Japanese company showed off a two-way charger developed in partnership with Italian power company ENEL, which will allow owners of the all-electric Nissan Leaf to power their homes for up to two days using their cars.

The idea is that Leaf owners will be able to charge their cars at low-demand, cheap tariff periods, with the option to then use the electricity stored in the vehicle’s battery at home when costs are higher, or even feed it back to the National Grid to generate additional household income.

A Nissan spokesman said: “With the introduction [of the technology], we can empower motorists to take control of their energy mix, stimulating greater use of renewable power, and offering significant financial rewards for those who make the switch to electric. The personal benefits of innovations like this are clear.”

London mayor Boris Johnson plugged the Nissan Leaf at the UN climate change conference

Earlier this week, London mayor Boris Johnson was happy to be photographed with the Leaf while in Paris for the conference, and argued that “zero emission cars like this will play a real part in improving the air quality in our cities as well as tackling climate change”.

The Leaf is manufactured at Nissan’s factory in Sunderland, and was revised earlier this year, with the main improvement being a more powerful battery pack, which increases the range between charges from 120 miles to 155 miles.

Nissan will be hoping this also increases sales, which haven’t lived up to its expectations to date, despite the Leaf being the best-selling electric car in history.

Back in 2009, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said that 20 per cent of his company’s sales would be electric cars by 2020. However, with 200,000 delivered since then, the Leaf still represents only about 1 per cent of sales.

In addition, there remains the question of whether the Leaf can really have much of an impact on climate change if most of a country’s energy is generated from burning fossil fuels, as is the case in the UK at the moment.

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