Good news for Nissan LEAF owners: The automaker is approving its first vehicle-to-grid (V2G) charger for its LEAF model, meaning owners can now sell energy back to the grid. Sending energy back to the grid from your EV can help reduce utility costs during peak usage.
The Nissan LEAF was first introduced to the market in 2010 as one of the first mass-market battery electric vehicles. Since then, the EV has had somewhat of an epic rise, then fall, and is making another comeback.
Nissan LEAF was the best-selling EV in Europe in the first half of 2018, with 37,000 orders and 18,000 deliveries. To put this in perspective, Ford sold 32,607 EVs in August 2022 between the Ford F-150 Lightning pickup and Mustang Mach-e.
Nissan was clearly ahead of its time when it released the LEAF. But times have changed, and with several automakers and new EV startups introducing electric models, the Leaf has lost some ground.
But this early EV model had a little secret – all LEAFs since model year 2013 have been delivered with bidirectional charging capability, also known as “vehicle-to-grid” or V2G. Until now, they have lacked a charging unit capable of leveraging that capability in the US, but today Nissan announced availability of that very thing.
The Nissan LEAF is getting its first-ever V2G charger
Nissan announced Wednesday it’s approving the first vehicle-to-grid (V2G) charger for LEAF owners. The automaker is partnering with Fermata Energy to make the LEAF compatible for selling energy back to the grid with the FE-15 bidirectional charger.
V2G charging means LEAF owners can send energy back to the grid to save on utility costs and aid grid health.
Nissan said the LEAF is:
Currently the only fully electric passenger vehicle in the US market able to supply energy to the grid, allowing LEAF owners with the Fermata Energy FE-15 bi-directional charger to park their vehicle, plug it in, and save money with their local electric utility as well as reduce the total cost of ownership of the vehicle.
V2G technology makes the LEAF the right fit for commercial and residential customers. Individual LEAF owners can send energy through the FE-15 charger back to the grid from their EV battery to save during peak hours.
Furthermore, businesses can power their buildings during peak hours using Fermata’s Energy Demand Charge Management app. The service monitors an office’s electricity usage, using energy from the LEAF – or more likely, LEAFs – when energy rates are high.
(Update: For example, during the current California heat wave, spot prices for electricity are peaking at above $3/kWh at 5pm, which means draining a LEAF battery could make you more than $100 at wholesale rates – not a bad day’s work for doing nothing at all)
Great move, Nissan. Vehicle-to-grid technology has endless potential. Imagine a world where your fleet of Nissan LEAFs can power your entire business. Well, now this is a reality.
Nissan joins other automakers like Ford, who partnered with Duke Energy earlier this year to allow F-150 Lightning owners to utilize V2G and cut down on energy costs. I said it last month, and I still believe it to be true, V2G technology is just getting started.
Ford and now Nissan are starting a new trend that can save EV owners money in the long run. Not only that, but it can also help stabilize the grid and lower overall energy costs. It’s just another benefit to add to the list of owning an EV.
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