Vehicle to grid: Enel and Nissan revolutionize the electric car

Published on Tuesday, 2 February 2016

An agreement that signifies a change in the world of technology in terms of sustainable mobility: it’s the one designed between Enel, a multinational energy company and the second largest in Europe for installed capacity, and Nissan, manufacturer of the best selling electric car in the world, LEAF. Presented in Paris last December at COP21 – Conference of the nations united for climate change – the project developed by the two companies is called Vehicle-To-Grid (V2G), a system able to revolutionize the world of electric cars. In fact, thanks to this system, e-cars will be able to function as actual “mobile stations”, with the ability to accumulate and essentially put back into the grid the energy that is not used. It’s a mechanism that is convenient for Nissan LEAF owners that will be able to recharge the battery during times when prices and demand for energy are lower, and then use the electricity accumulated or resell it to the grid during a time when the price is higher. All of this is thanks to the new technology for the management of two-way charging, available in charging stations but also on board.

A true revolution that allows full integration of electric cars into the national electric grid, making them able to accumulate potential excess energy and manage it better from renewable sources. The system will therefore decisively influence energy systems and will not limit itself to just changing (and innovating) sustainable mobility.

The innovation proposed by Enel and Nissan comes about at a time where electric vehicles are beginning to see some success and their market and this is expected to grow quickly in the next few years. This is explained in a report published by analyst firm IDTechEx Research, according to which, in the next decade from 2016-2026 an expanding spread of green cars will generate a 500 billion dollar market. The adoption of electric vehicles in sectors such as agriculture, public transportation, and the industrial sector will really make the difference.

But looking at the present, the Vehicle-to-Grid system by Enel and Nissan is already being tested and will bring the first grid-integrated cars to Denmark, the Netherlands and Germany, countries where the regulatory framework is more favorable at the moment. This will then be tested in other areas of Northern Europe.

“For us today, an automobile is a battery on wheels” said Ernesto Ciorra, Director of Innovation and Sustainability at Enel, who added: “The V2G system is an innovation that can improve our life and make the world a better place for the current population and future generations. This is consistent with Enel’s vision of innovation to create better climate conditions in the world in which we live”. The same enthusiasm is also felt on behalf of Nissan Europe: “Our pioneering partnership with Enel perfectly embodies our vision, which aims to transform the car from a simple means of transport to a carrier for supplying energy to homes and offices” says Paul Willcox, President of Nissan Europe. “In this way, electric vehicles will become a fully integrated part of the national electric grid in all of Europe”.

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