It’s not just an electric car, it’s a power station – that’s the message from Germany where the latest version of Nissan’s Leaf has just been officially approved as a power plant for the German energy market, using vehicle-to-grid technology.
Energy supplier Enervie, transmission system operator Amprion, and Nissan worked together to qualify the Leaf for all the German TSO regulatory requirements for primary power regulation.
What this mean is electric cars like the Leaf can be used to help stabilise the grid and smooth out power delivery which can be a problem for power companies using renewables with their fluctuating power delivery.
The TSO tick means the Leaf can be integrated as a regulating reserve for the German electricity grid.
Nissan hails the test success as a breakthrough in the establishment of Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) technology which will shape the way we all generate and receive electricity.
Germany is on the road to decentralised energy generation from renewable sources and that means new and innovative solutions for stabilising the electricity grid are needed.
Cars like the Leaf could help solve that problem by passing power back to the grid when parked. In Australia, for instance, Bloomberg NEF estimates that EVs could provide 350GWh of storage – that’s the equivalent of the Snowy 2.0 pumped hydro scheme.
The Leaf, which is equipped as standard with what’s called bidirectional charging technology – it can send power back to the grid as well as taking it – can play an important part in this.
With its CHAdeMO charging connector, the Leaf is able not only to extract power from the grid and store it in its traction battery, but, if necessary, also to feed power back.
At the pilot project at the Enervie site in Hagen, Germany, the bidirectional chargeability allowed the Leaf to be plugged into a test system, and when coupled with intelligent charging and energy management technology from The Mobility House, the charging and discharging processes were controlled and monitored.
“We are pleased that Mobility House technology has been approved by the TSO for the most challenging and important product of the German power supply system,” said Thomas Raffeiner, CEO and founder of The Mobility House (TMH).
“We strongly believe in an emission-free future,” said Guillaume Pelletreau, vice-president and managing director, Nissan Centre Europe.
“We are also very proud that the Nissan Leaf has, as the first electric car ever, been approved as suitable for stabilising grid frequencies. Leaf batteries could make an important contribution to energy transition in Germany and a sustainable future.”
Tony Bosworth writes for www.TheDriven.io and RenewEconomy.com.au. He has 35 years experience in journalism, and has been instrumental in launching and editing several automotive magazines including Which Car? magazine in the UK.