Renault-Nissan Alliance Team
Why Nissan LEAF is giving Davos visitors a warm glow
What could be better than a cup of hot chocolate as the temperatures drop close to freezing… especially when it’s free? How about a free cup of hot chocolate made without needing to draw power from the grid at peak times?
That’s just what’s happening at the 2014 World Economic Forum in Davos this week, as Nissan displays its unique LEAF-to-Home technology. Instead of plugging the hot chocolate maker into the mains, it is powered by an all-electric Nissan LEAF using the energy stored in the car’s batteries.
Stationed outside the Alliance-backed Davos Hub Pavilion, passers-by are invited to grab a free drink as they discover the hidden talents of the world’s favourite EV.
Car-powered hot chocolate is fun, but there’s a serious side to the LEAF-to-home technology. By incorporating a special Power Control System into a household’s electrical distribution board, a LEAF can not only recharge its batteries in the usual way, but can also use the stored energy to provide power for the house.
Its batteries can be used to reduce consumption of mains electricity during peak (i.e. expensive) times or be used as an emergency supply during a power outage or blackout.
Taking it further, half a dozen Nissan LEAF EVs are being used to power Nissan’s Advanced Technology Center in Atsugi City.
During peak hours the building draws power from the cars but when electricity is cheaper it flows the other way, ensuring that the batteries are fully charged at the end of the working day so that their owners can drive home.
Testing of the system began in July last year and has already produced substantial savings. There’s been a reduction in peak time electrical usage of around 2.5 per cent which will save nearly 500,000 Yen (€3,500) in electricity bills a year.