When the Nissan LEAF's battery reaches the end of its life, Nissan are planning to reuse it in the power generation industry.
The new for the Nissan LEAF's battery will allow excess power from renewable sources such as solar and wind generation to be stored before being released at peak times, reducing the need for conventional power stations to be kept on standby.
The Nissan LEAF's battery, when fully charged, can hold enough energy to power a three bedroom home for around three days, at a rate of 8kW/day.
"The Nissan LEAF has only just been launched, but we have to think now about how we will dispose of the car when it comes to the end of its life," said Vice President, Vehicle Design & Development, Nissan Technical Centre Europe. "Although the LEAF is designed to last as long as any conventional car, some batteries will become available from accident-damaged cars sooner and we must manage the use of the parts now."
The first large-scale demonstration of battery storage with Nissan LEAF batteries has been constructed at Nissan's global headquarters in a joint venture established by Nissan and Sumitomo Corporation, called 4R Energy, has started tests using solar panels and second-life lithium ion batteries previously used in Nissan LEAFs.
Solar cells installed at Nissan's offices generate electricity which is then stored in the lithium-ion batteries is then in turn used to charge electric vehicles.
With three quick charge and four normal charge stations connected to Nissan HQ's solar grid, the total electricity than can be generated and stored is the equivalent to fully charging approximately 1800 Nissan LEAFs annually.
This could result in an annual reduction of 15.4 tons of CO2 emissions as well as enabling electric vehicles to be charged through a completely renewable energy source.
"Nissan LEAF is already zero emission from a vehicle point of view," says Hideaki Watanabe, Corporate Vice President for Global Zero Emission at Nissan. "Now, in order to maximise that potential, if we utilise the renewable energy on the electricity side, it would really be zero emission."
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