Electric vehicle (EV) enthusiasts acknowledge that one of the biggest barriers to mass adoption of the technology is likely to be the ability of the grid to cope with new patterns of power demand.
However, companies across the fledgling industry are already working to address these technical challenges and their efforts were given a further boost yesterday with the news Nissan is to team up with grid operator Northern Powergrid on a series of research projects.
The two companies announced they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will see them co-operate over the next six years on a series of innovation projects.
The projects will explore how EVs, batteries, and smart technologies can support energy networks, which in the case of Northern Powergrid supply power to 3.9 million homes and businesses.
They are also expected to support Nissan’s existing Intelligent Mobility blueprint, which aims to show how EVs can work in conjunction with the grid through so-called vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technologies to better manage peaks and troughs in supply and demand.
“Building on what we are already doing around innovation projects, this signals the start of a ground-breaking industry partnership to explore new innovations that could support the creation of smarter, greener energy networks and help shape future technologies to support the efficient roll-out of electric vehicles,” said Jim Cardwell, head of trading and innovation at Northern Powergrid.
His comments were echoed by Ed Jones, EV manager at Nissan, who predicted the project would help unlock the full potential of electric vehicle technologies.
“We’ve always known that Nissan’s EV technology can be used for so much more than just getting people from A-to-B and we’re delighted to be sharing our expertise to help create more sustainable energy networks in the UK,” he said. “Through the integration of Nissan EVs, we can find new solutions that will help shape a society whose energy use is sustainable, efficient and affordable.”