Nissan has entered into a new agreement that will see batteries from its electric vehicles deployed for commercial energy storage.
The car maker announced last week that it has teamed up with energy storage specialist Green Charge Networks on a project that enables commercial use of lithium-ion batteries that have been used previously in electric vehicles.
Nissan designed the new stationary storage application as part of its 4R Energy joint venture with Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation, and partnered with Green Charge to bring the product to market. Engineering teams from the two companies have been working on the project for more than a year.
A lithium-ion battery from a Nissan Leaf still holds a great deal of value as energy storage, even after it is removed from the vehicle, so Nissan expects to be able to reuse a majority of Leaf battery packs in non-automotive applications, said Brad Smith, director of Nissan’s 4R Energy business in the United States. Nissan looks forward to working with Green Charge Networks to get second-life vehicle batteries into the hands of customers who can realise benefits that include improved sustainability and lower energy costs.
The first combined storage unit will be installed at a Nissan facility in North America this summer. Multiple Nissan Leaf batteries will be configured to help the facility offset peak electricity demand, creating savings while also benefiting the power grid.
Nissan noted that systems like this can also be paired with renewable energy sources such as wind turbines or solar panels, further reducing a facility’s environmental footprint and enhancing energy savings.
The new energy storage system is expected to become available in the US and international markets in the fourth quarter of this year. Pricing details have not yet been released, but Nissan said that the system has a cost advantage over traditional units, opening up new markets where incentive programmes are not currently offered.