Nissan Australia touts LEAF V2H capabilities, disses Tesla battery project

Nissan’s Global Director of Electric Vehicles, Nic Thomas, recently took a trip Down Under for the Australian launch of the Nissan LEAF Plus. In his speech, he highlighted the LEAF’s bidirectional charging capability, which he said is already being used in Japan, and is expected to be available in Australia within months.

Nissan Australia’s Manager of Electrification and Mobility Ben Warren said the new LEAF already incorporates Vehicle-to-Home (V2H) capability. Demo models of V2H charging boxes are already on the way to Australia, and after about six months of testing, the feature should be made available to Nissan customers. “The vehicle we see today is capable from the factory right now – it is future-proofed for not only the EV world but also the future energy ecosystem,” says Warren.

EV batteries could play a big role as energy storage resources in that ecosystem. “Cars will be an energy asset first, and a mobility asset second,” said Tim Washington, CEO of charging solution provider Jetcharge, who also spoke at the Nissan event. “You are going to use your cars probably more as batteries than as vehicles. As we know, vehicles are parked 90% of the time. But what if they are the most efficient asset that you have because it’s doing work even when it’s parked?”

A V2H-equipped LEAF could theoretically be an alternative to a home battery system such as Tesla’s Powerwall, saving consumers money by storing solar energy for nighttime use, and/or by charging at off-peak rates overnight and discharging power during the day. Bridie Schmidt, writing in The Driven, estimates that the 40 kWh version of the LEAF offers up to 4 times the energy storage capacity of a typical home battery.

“In the middle of the day now we have this influx of solar energy,” Nic Thomas explains. “It’s great that we’ve invested all this money in renewable energy, but fundamentally we’re wasting most of that energy because it’s all being generated in the middle of the day when we don’t really need it. What the system needs is batteries. The system needs storage.”

Apparently, Mr. Thomas prefers distributed storage in the future to utility-scale storage in the present. He took a dig at Tesla, saying that its gigabattery at Noeon Hornsdale wind farm in Jamestown, South Australia (which is said to have saved around $28 million in power-stabilization costs in its first year of operation) is “a complete waste of resources, because what we can do is have cars that are also batteries, and those cars are parked most of the time.”

Source: The Driven

  • freedomev

    Great news and about time. I’ve had it on my EVs for 26 yrs and Ford, others had it, V2G on their 1999-2000 EVs.
    And theirs was built into the controller along with a 15kw charger stock, ACPropulsion unit IIRC you can still buy.
    The Tesla Roaster used the same unit minus the V2G option on the first ones.
    Any EV you can open the DC port with comm card you can do this with. And in 5 yrs it’ll be standard.
    The great thing is instead of getting a fuel power bill for the EV, you’d get a check! ;^) And why it’ll be widely popular.
    Interesting the company with the worst battery record is the one doing this.
    For those DIY people, a solar string inverter that works to 400vdc can be connected and directly output A/C power from the pack and into the grid for V2G. Though you’ll have to control it for best income, use. Timers and voltage limits can do it automatically until a V2G protocol is agreed on.

  • Lance Pickup

    Great news to hear that this is rolling out to more than just Japan. I hope it doesn’t turn out to be vaporware. Would really like to see V2H/V2G achieve critical mass to where it starts to roll out on a more widespread basis.

  • Ormond Otvos

    Total propaganda on Nissan’s part.
    Do the math. How many vehicles replace a gigabattery with millisecond response?
    Grid fails overnight and in the morning your car won’t get you all the way to work.
    Grid fails for two hours and in the aftermath, the recharging cars overload the grid when the A/C comes on all over.
    Nissan batteries fail ten times faster due to excessive cycling.
    Cost of converting thousands of home solar systems to V2G?

    Wave all that away, Nissan..

    • Grant Melocik

      As in all things Ormond everyone’s situation is different. This would work great for us – I work out of the home so no commute each day yet our PNW rural location has frequent power outages. This would tide us over nicely in most every power-out situation. Also, either an AI or programmed work route could simply shut the car off at the correct charge level to ensure the car could make it to work the next day. My teacher wife had a 3 mile commute so this would, again, have worked great for us. If this is done frequently (every day) then the battery life problem you note becomes critical of course.

  • dogphlap dogphlap

    Nissan have yet to provide thermal management of their car EV battery pack even now, 2019 so I would take any comment they might make with a very large pinch of salt. Their reputation for short battery life is not good yet they criticise Tesla/Panasonic, companies with the best reputation in this area. If this came from LG I might take it more seriously but Nissan are a bad joke when it comes to battery packs. Tesla’s argument against V2G has been if you want to back up the grid you need battery chemistry specifically tailored to give a high cycle life, they have those and sell them in their PowerWall products, the requirements for vehicles is different, there you need good energy density. Different tasks need different chemistries i.e. different packs. Why would anyone trust anything Nissan has to say about batteries, their reputation in that area is appalling. Perhaps they should stick to prosecuting chief executives and leave electro-chemical technology to those with a proven track record.

  • Keynumbers

    Modeling bidirectional charging using a deal for cheap late night electric car charging with Powershop. It’s a simple scenario of storing 8kWh at night and using them during peak and shoulder periods. At a saving of only $1.65 a day, the results don’t suggest this will tip the balance in making electric cars competitive.