Nissan and UK utility to research electric vehicles to support grid

Nissan and electric utility Northern Powergrid have signed an agreement to explore how electric vehicles and batteries can support the power grid.

According to Business Green, electric vehicle enthusiasts are aware that one of the biggest challenges opposing mass adoption of electric vehicles is the ability of the modern power grid to cope with new power demand patterns.

Despite this, there are many companies working toward solving the technical barriers that exist. The agreement between Nissan and Northern Powergrid further promotes industry collaboration toward addressing these issues.

The Memorandum of Understanding will see Nissan and Northern Powergrid co-operate on a series of innovation projects over the next six years. These projects will evaluate how electric vehicles, batteries, and smart technologies can support energy networks. Northern Powergrid supplies power to 3.9 million homes and businesses.

In a release, Jim Cardwell, head of trading and innovation at Northern Powergrid, said: “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.”

The innovation projects 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 vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technologies to better manage peaks and troughs in supply and demand.

Ed Jones, EV manager at Nissan, added: “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.

“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.”

UK ill prepared for surge in electric vehicles – study

In related news, think tank Green Alliance has found the UK’s energy networks ill-prepared to handle the expected surge in electric vehicles on the road over the next few years.

Reporting on the findings of the research conducted by the Green Alliance, The Guardian notes that “clusters of the battery powered cars could result in 1% of the UK experiencing unplanned drops in voltage – potentially damaging electronic equipment – without action by 2020.”

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