At least now we know the answer to that age-old joke, "How many Nissan Leafs does it take to power an office building?" The answer is a tidy half-dozen.

The Japanese automaker has been testing its "Vehicle-To-Building" system, in which the building pulls juice from the cars during the peak-use hours when power is most expensive, and then shoots back some power when the grid prices drop. Nissan says the system is set up to ensure the cars are fully charged by the end of the workday. If you leave work early? That may be a different situation.

The company started testing the system at its Nissan Advanced Technology Center in Atsugi City, Japan, in July, and found that the cars allow the building to cut peak-hour electricity use by 2.5 percent. Annualized, that means savings of about a half-million yen (about $4,800 US) in electricity costs.

Nissan is also working on a "Leaf-to-Home" power-backup system, in which the car can be used as a residential-power backup source in order to reduce peak hour use and provide power in a blackout. That system was first unveiled in the summer of 2011 at a house built in front of Nissan's global headquarters. Check out Nissan's press release below.
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NISSAN LEAFS CAN NOW POWER THE OFFICE, AS WELL AS THE HOME
Field test of the Nissan LEAF as an electrical power storage and supply to office buildings began

YOKOHAMA, Japan (November 29, 2013) - Nissan has carried out a successful early field test of a system that will allow companies to regulate their electricity bills using the batteries of Nissan LEAFs used by their staff to commute to work. "Vehicle-To-Building" allows up to six Nissan LEAFs to be connected to a building's power distribution board. Charging is phased during the day so at peak hours, when electricity is most expensive, the building draws power from the cars. When electricity is cheaper it flows the other way. The system ensures the Nissan LEAFs are fully charged by the end of the working day for their owners to drive home.

"Vehicle-to-Building" has been in use at the Nissan Advanced Technology Center in Atsugi City, Japan, since July. The facility benefited from a reduction of 25.6KW during peak summer periods by controlling the charging time of the EVs, with no impact on the workers' daily commute, or their vehicles. The results have led to approximately a 2.5-percent reduction of electrical power use during peak hours, a saving of nearly 500,000 Yen per year in electrical power cost (based on current Tokyo Electric Power Company's rates).

Nissan plans to further test and refine the "Vehicle-To-Building" system, which is a development of the "LEAF-to-Home" system. "LEAF to Home" power units provide an uninterrupted flow of electricity stored in the high-capacity batteries onboard Nissan LEAF electric vehicles (EV) to residential homes. The system will help encourage Nissan LEAF owners to charge their cars with electricity generated during the night, when demand is low, or sourced from solar panels. This assists in balancing energy needs by supplying electricity to homes/offices during daytime, when demand is highest. It can also be used as backup power source in case of a power outage and/or shortages.

Cumulative sales of the Nissan LEAF have now passed 87,000 units making it the best-selling electric vehicle in history.

About Nissan Motor Co. Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Japan's second-largest automotive company, is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan, and is part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Operating with approximately 236,000 employees globally, Nissan sold more than 4.9 million vehicles and generated revenue of 9.6 trillion yen (USD 116.16 billion) in fiscal 2012. Nissan delivers a comprehensive range of over 60 models under the Nissan and Infiniti brands. In 2010, Nissan introduced the Nissan LEAF, and continues to lead in zero-emission mobility. The LEAF, the first mass-market, pure-electric vehicle launched globally, is now the best-selling EV in history.


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