Nissan has reported a successful early field test of a system that enables “vehicle-to-building” transfer of power – potentially enabling building owners to draw on the power stored in electric vehicles to regulate their electricity bills.

The system allows up to six Nissan LEAFs to be connected to a building's power distribution board. Charging is phased during the day so at peak hours, when electricity is most expensive, the building draws power from the cars. When electricity is cheaper it flows the other way. The system ensures the vehicles are fully charged by the end of the working day for their owners to drive home.

Vehicle-to-building has been in use at the Nissan Advanced Technology Center in Atsugi City, Japan, since July. The facility benefited from a reduction of 25.6 kW during peak summer periods by controlling the charging time of the EVs, with no impact on the workers' daily commute, or their vehicles. The results have led to approximately a 2.5% reduction of electrical power use during peak hours, with a saving of nearly 500,000 Yen (US$4,800) per year in electrical power cost (based on current TEPCO rates).

Nissan plans to further test and refine the system, which is a development of the “LEAF-to-home” system, which provides a power flow from Nissan LEAFs to residential homes.