Skip to main content

Nissan is charged up about giving your electric car’s battery pack a new life

2018 Nissan Leaf review
Stephen Edelstein/Digital Trends

On the eve of the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, Nissan announced a program called Nissan Energy, designed to help individuals and communities make the transition to electric vehicles and smart power grids. An important part of the Nissan Energy program involves reusing electric car batteries after vehicles reach the end of their life cycle.

“This is the future we want to build,” stated Denis Le Vot, the chairman of Nissan’s North American division, during a media event in Los Angeles.

Related Videos

The Nissan Energy program has three main parts, starting with energy supply. Nissan will promote the installation of appropriate charging stations in homes and businesses, and it will encourage increasing the number of available charging stations on public property. De Vot added Nissan will also include charging station location information in its navigation systems, meaning Leaf drivers will know exactly where to charge even if they’re traveling in a city they’ve never been to before.

Secondly, De Vot described greater integration with smart grids and smart charging systems that use fully charged electric cars as energy sources during peak demand periods. With a full charge, an electric car can provide power to the owner’s home or feed it directly into the grid when electricity is in high demand, such as early in the evening, and then recharge itself overnight during off-peak hours. Called bi-directional charging, this practice reduces the strain placed on the electricity grid while saving electric car owners money; it’s a win-win situation.

Finally, De Vot described how Nissan is refurbishing used Leaf batteries for use as energy storage systems for stationary requirements. He mentioned that the Amsterdam Arena — a gigantic soccer stadium in Holland — has a backup power system built from a bank of used batteries salvaged from Leaf models that are now off the road. The system has 4 megawatts of storage capacity. These systems don’t need to be stationary, however; Nissan can also use Leaf battery packs to power electric forklifts, for example.

Similar projects are underway in Japan and in China, and Nissan is looking at powering some of its North American facilities with Leaf batteries. These initiatives provide a second life for electric car batteries and solve the problem of recycling them once a vehicle reaches the end of its life cycle.

Editors' Recommendations

Mercedes is finally bringing an electric van to the U.S.
Front three quarter view of the 2024 Mercedes-Benz eSprinter electric van.

Mercedes-Benz might be known for luxury cars, but it also makes vans, and it's finally bringing an electric van to the United States.

Scheduled to start production this summer, the 2024 Mercedes-Benz eSprinter is an all-electric version of the Sprinter full-size cargo van that's already a favorite of delivery services like FedEx and Amazon, as well as camper van converters. While the automaker has been selling electric vans in Europe since 2010, the new eSprinter is the first one aimed at the U.S. market.

Read more
‘The cars are the stars.’ How automakers are electrifying the racetrack
The number 60 Acura ARX-06 GTP race car at the 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Racing is the soul of the auto industry. It’s the purest expression of the engineering that makes cars possible, and the thing they were engineered to do in the first place — be driven. While it can be full of arcane rules that make government regulations and customer clinics seem like child’s play, racing is where cars are built to be cars, and where drivers are just drivers. And like the rest of the industry, the racing world is now grappling with the need for electrification.

Many automakers have built their reputations on the track, and some are hoping to sprinkle a bit of that motorsports magic dust on their plans to curb internal-combustion engines. Acura, BMW, Cadillac, and Porsche just debuted hybrid race cars in the Rolex 24 at Daytona, a 24-hour race held at Florida’s Daytona International Speedway that’s one of the biggest events on the racing calendar.

Read more
How to use a Tesla Supercharger: a complete guide
tesla starts opening its supercharger network to other evs

Sure, Tesla makes great cars, but one of the biggest advantages to owning a Tesla is being able to tap into its massive charging network. That means that not only can Tesla owners use all of the third-party charging stations out there, but they can also use the tens of thousands of Tesla Superchargers out there.

Of course, you might not want to use non-Tesla chargers if you don't have to, given the fact that they're so easy to use. Here's how to use a Tesla Supercharger.
How to use a Tesla Supercharger
Superchargers are among the easiest chargers to use. Here's how to do so.

Read more