Quantcast

Can Electric Cars Power Buildings? One Automaker Says Yes

Business

The Nissan LEAF wasn't considered one of the top 10 fuel efficient vehicles for 2014, but it could set a trend for the rest of the market, along with property owners all over the world.

The automaker has announced that its LEAF electric vehicle (EV) has the ability to power an entire building with the help of a new system.

Staff members recently finished a field test for the Vehicle-to-Building system that began in July. It involved six LEAFs connected to the power distribution board of Nissan's Advanced Technology Center in Atsugi City, Japan.

When all was said and done, the facility was able to reduce its energy use by 25.6 kilowatts during peak summer hours.

Nissan recently finished a field test to see if a new system could power an office building from the LEAF electric vehicle's battery. Photo credit: Nissan

Charging worked two ways during the field test. During peak hours, the building drew power from the cars. The cars were charging, during the rest of the time. The staff members, who commuted to work in the LEAFs, reported no issues during the testing period, and their vehicles were always fully charged by the time they left for the day.

"The results have led to approximately a 2.5-percent reduction of electrical power use during peak hours," according to a Nissan statement.

Though the estimate was based on average Tokyo Electric Power Co. rates, the power use would equate to annual savings of nearly $5,000 U.S. dollars or 500,000 in Japanese yen.

Nissan plans to further develop the system to the end product—the LEAF-to-home system to help homeowners regulate their energy bills, too.

"LEAF-to-Home" power units provide an uninterrupted flow of electricity stored in the high-capacity batteries onboard Nissan LEAF [EVs] to residential homes," according to Nissan. "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."

The system would also serve as a backup power source during outage or shortages. The automaker offered no word on when the system will hit markets in the U.S. or elsewhere.

Visit EcoWatch’s TRANSPORTATION page for more related news on this topic.

 

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite on the Suomi NPP satellite acquired this image of forest fire smoke hovering over North America on Aug. 15, 2018. NASA Earth Observatory

New York City isn't known for having the cleanest air, but researchers traced recent air pollution spikes there to two surprising sources — fires hundreds of miles away in Canada and the southeastern U.S.

Read More
If temperatures continue to rise, the world is at risk from global sea-level rise, which will flood many coastal cities as seen above in Bangladesh. NurPhoto / Contributor / Getty Images

The mounting climate emergency may spur the next global financial crisis and the world's central banks are woefully ill equipped to handle the consequences, according to a new book-length report by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), as S&P Global reported. Located in Basel, Switzerland, the BIS is an umbrella organization for the world's central banks.

Read More
Sponsored
Two ice fishers with a truck cut a hole in the ice near an ice fishing hut on frozen Lake Winnebago.
Richard Hamilton Smith / Corbis NX / Getty Images

By Susan Cosier

Come February in Wisconsin, almost everything will be covered in ice and snow. In little shanties on frozen Lake Winnebago, a 30-by-13-mile lake in the eastern part of the state, fishers will keep watch over rectangular holes cut into the ice with a chainsaw. When they spot a fin passing below, they'll jab their spears down deep. The lucky ones will earn themselves a lake sturgeon, a species that has prowled the earth's waters for more than 150 million years.

Read More
Fresno, California, seen above, is receiving $66 million for walking trails, sidewalks, bike lanes, and more. DenisTangneyJr / iStock / Getty Images

Grecia Elenes grew up in Fresno, California. She says some parts of the city have been neglected for decades. When she moved back after college she realized nothing has changed.

Read More
People are seen embracing at Numeralla Rural Fire Brigade near the scene of a water tanker plane crash on Jan. 23 in Cooma, Australia. Three American firefighters have have died after their C-130 water tanker plane crashed while battling a bushfire near Cooma in southern NSW this afternoon. Jenny Evans / Getty Images

Three U.S. firefighters gave their lives battling Australia's historic wildfires Thursday when their airborne water tanker crashed.

Read More