The Nissan Vehicle To Home System (V2H) is a simple idea – use the electricity stored in the battery of an electric vehicle to provide power to a home or small business when the electrical grid can’t. It came into being after an earthquake and tsunami crippled the country’s electrical system in 2011. Now through the end of January, the concept is being tested at Nissan dealers throughout Japan, The experiment will determine whether EV charging stations can efficiently convert the electricity stored in the batteriy of a Leaf back into 110 volt AC current. Using the power stored in several cars, the goal is to operate each business for 3 hours without using electricity from the grid.
At first glance, the idea may not seem relevant in America, where the typical home uses three times the electricity of a Japanese family. But it has sparked interest among some major utilities, particularly NRG, which operates the eVgo charging network. It sees the Nissan system as a way to store excess energy for use during peak demand times. That could save utilities hundreds of millions if it means they don’t have to build more generating facilities to meet the needs of their customers. To make a system like that work, the electrical grid would first have to be integrated with “smart” technology so the power companies would know instantly how many EVs are plugged in, where they are and what their state of charge is.
In other words, this isn’t going to happen overnight. But if the utilities buy in to the idea, that will create more demand for better batteries with greater storage capacity and that means greater range for EVs in the future. In the competition between battery EVs and fuel cell EVs, that could make a big difference in which technology prevails.
Source | Images: The Auto Future