Nissan announces vehicle-to-grid trial of energy storage system in the UK

Japanese auto maker Nissan has developed an energy storage system for the home using a recycled car battery, and announced plans for a trial in the UK that would allow electric vehicle owners to sell power back to the grid.

The company announced its vehicle-to-grid (V2G) trial – the first of its kind in the UK – at an event in London yesterday.

Earlier, it revealed a slim wall-mounted battery pack for the home called xStorage.

One hundred V2G units would be installed across the UK for trial, where owners of the Nissan LEAF car and e-NV200 electric van will be able to plug their vehicles in and sell its stored energy back to the National Grid.

According to Nissan and power company Enel the model could be scaled up to provide a stable energy infrastructure in the future.

"Smart energy management is one of the biggest challenges any nation faces for the future, which is why this trial is so critical in assessing the feasibility of using variable, more flexible energy sources," said Nissan chief Paul Willcox.

"We currently have 18,000 Nissan electric vehicles running on the roads in the UK and if all of those were connected to the energy network, they would generate the equivalent to two power plants."

Meanwhile, Nissan and power management company Eaton have formed a joint venture to provide wall-mountable lithium-ion batteries to power homes.

The new home battery system, called xStorage, would compete with Tesla's Powerwall lithium-ion wall-mounted battery, which the company announced last year.

Tesla's Powerwall would come in 6.4 kilowatt hour (kWh) and 10kWh capacities, with the 6.4kWh battery carrying a price tag of $3,000. Tesla recently removed the 10kWh Powerwall battery from its website.

Nissan / Eaton's xStorage wall-mounted lithium-ion battery system would provide 4.2kWh of power and have a starting price of about $4,800, according to the companies.

While the xStorage battery appeared to cost more the Powerwall, according to Nissan the total cost of ownership would be lower as the price included professional installation of the unit.