Driving on Sunshine: Nissan Rolls Out Solar + Storage System
The venture, called Nissan Energy Solar, allows homeowners to generate, store and charge EVs with their own renewable energy, which can reduce household energy bills by an estimated 66 percent, the company touts.
"It enables UK homeowners to make significant savings on their household electricity bills, and become champions of sustainability and green technology," said Gareth Dunsmore, the electric vehicle director of Nissan Europe, in a statement.
"More than 880,000 people in the UK already use solar panels and this fully integrated solution brings a fresh opportunity to grow this number exponentially over the coming years."
The Japanese automaker's new offering allows UK customers to choose between a fully integrated solar and storage package or just the components alone. System prices start at around £3,800 (about $5,100). Notably, customers can pick between a storage system made of new batteries or old ones from Nissan electric vehicles.
This is a great move to give a "second life" to batteries that have degraded to a point where they are no longer suitable for the road but are useful for other purposes. Nissan and its affiliate 4R Energy Corporation recently showed how these lithium-ion batteries still have usable capacity by creating the Reborn Light, a solar-powered street lamp that uses recycled Leaf batteries to store excess energy.
Nissan enters a space dominated by Elon Musk's Tesla, which allows customers to buy solar panels, home battery storage systems and electric cars under one roof. After acquiring SolarCity, Musk noted that the purchase of the solar energy company was in the "pursuit of the same overarching goal of sustainable energy."
Although this is a nascent industry, it's important to have another player like Nissan aiding the decarbonization of the home and transportation sector, which is a major source of global climate-warming pollution. Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz, tried its own hand at residential batteries in 2016 but the program soon dissolved.
Impressively, Nissan is driving into the home energy market without backing from a traditional utility, the Telegraph reported.
"What you see today is something that is only powered by Nissan—it is the first time we are stepping into the energy space without an energy utility behind us," Francisco Carranza, the managing director of Nissan's energy services arm, explained.
The Drive reported that sales are limited to the UK, but Nissan said it may expand to other European countries.