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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.
Show full PR text
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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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 17 Comments
      taser it
      • 1 Year Ago
      V2g is a waste. Why not have cell phones to grid too? /sarcasm Money would be better invested slapping solar cells on the roof.
        2 wheeled menace
        • 1 Year Ago
        @taser it
        What's it a waste of? If you have an electric car, the v2g capability is a bonus. You don't buy the car just for that reason...
      BipDBo
      • 1 Year Ago
      Doesn't that essentially put "miles" onto your battery, therefore reducing life expectancy?
        CoolWaters
        • 1 Year Ago
        @BipDBo
        Depends on how deeply they discharge the battery.
          BipDBo
          • 1 Year Ago
          @CoolWaters
          And probably how quickly.
        2 wheeled menace
        • 1 Year Ago
        @BipDBo
        Yes it does. But when the stuff hits the oscillator, 1 cycle on your battery is going to be worth a lot more than it would otherwise.
          BipDBo
          • 1 Year Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          Emergency us is one thing, but what they want to market for is use every day to save on your power bill to avoid peak time costs. Charging & discharging your battery everyday might cause a significant shorter battery life, and therefore be more costly than the money saved on the power bill.
      Rotation
      • 1 Year Ago
      V2G for a backup in a power outage would be useful. But using your car pack as a daily power source isn't cost-effective. If you have a battery pack that costs $8,000 and lasts 2,000 cycles, then each cycle on it costs $4, even though the electricity in the cycle only costs $2.50! The pack is more expensive than the electricity, so wearing out your pack like this is not cost-effective. Again, as a backup in case of power outage, it would be great. It'd be worth the extra wear and tear when that happens. But day to day it's cheaper to just buy from the grid. SolarCity just announced a system to use Tesla batteries to cover peak power rates and it will struggle to be cost-effective too.
        JakeY
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Rotation
        "If you have a battery pack that costs $8,000 and lasts 2,000 cycles, then each cycle on it costs $4, even though the electricity in the cycle only costs $2.50!" What about for cars with batteries that have a cycle life approaching 10k (like Fit EV and Spark EV)? That's going to change the cycle cost to about $1 (even if you assume the pack costs more). "SolarCity just announced a system to use Tesla batteries to cover peak power rates and it will struggle to be cost-effective too." Not really, they just used some derated (use a smaller %DOD) refurbished packs for which the cost per pack is much lower. I could see the economics working out there, given they aren't new packs.
          Rotation
          • 1 Year Ago
          @JakeY
          I'll believe 10k cycles when I see it. It's probably possible, but we haven't seen it yet, despite claims. As to SolarCity, using an old pack is even worse. With higher impedance, you lose more energy in the pack when charging it and discharging it. This will make an ROI even harder to achieve.
          2 wheeled menace
          • 1 Year Ago
          @JakeY
          The high impedance of an old pack matters very little. When you have a 0.10-0.20C load on a battery designed to deliver 3C, It has to be a truly, truly spent pile of scrap metal to not be up to the task. Seriously... when they are taken out of the car, they will be asked to perform at about a fifth or tenth of the rate that the car demanded. That 'light duty' work will stretch out their lifespan by quite a lot.
      EVnerdGene
      • 1 Year Ago
      I wanna see the break-even analysis.
        2 wheeled menace
        • 1 Year Ago
        @EVnerdGene
        If you lose business for a day because you don't have some other form of power backup, i am sure that you break even when you use a few spare cars lying around.. :)
          BipDBo
          • 1 Year Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          Emergency us is one thing, but what they want to market for is use every day to save on your power bill to avoid peak time costs. I don't know how much money can be saved in this way, but I doubt it's a whole lot. Charging & discharging your battery everyday might cause a significant shorter battery life, and therefore be more costly than the money saved on the power bill.
      SteveG
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is something all hybrids and electric cars should do. There is no reason why a volt driver should not be able to use his car as a generator during a power outage.
        2 wheeled menace
        • 1 Year Ago
        @SteveG
        To use it as a generator would require the power transmission being modified or added to so that the gasoline engine could drive the motor stator. Do you mean using the existing battery pack's juice? because with a DC-DC convertor, that could be a low cost addon to provide some power for a while.
      BipDBo
      • 1 Year Ago
      That's the worst joke in the history of both electric vehicle and power generation jokes.
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