Smart charging – specifically vehicle to grid (V2G) charging – is one of the biggest themes in the development of EV infrastructure. Energy on any grid is finite, limited by all manner of things such as the time of day and season and even if there’s a World Cup. And as more and more EVs require charging, it's becoming increasingly important to use available power more intelligently.
In the UK there are already smart charging solutions, with V2G slowly becoming available through the likes of Octopus Energy and Wallbox. Across Europe, too, similar schemes are slowly filtering into various domestic markets.
Now, Nissan and EDF Energy have joined forces to offer the two pieces of the V2G puzzle in the UK, France, Belgium and Italy. This partnership is a development of an existing, UK-only venture between the companies to share knowledge and develop joint solutions around mobility, smart charging, second-life battery use, energy storage and renewable energy.
In this new agreement, Nissan is responsible for selling V2G-capable EVs in the four markets and EDF Group (as a supplier in each nation) responsible for V2G charging solutions and the services related to them such as power tariffs and energy buy-back options. A key focus of the scheme is the business market which stands to benefit significantly for smart charging and a fleet capable of V2G power transfer.
Handling EDF's part of the deal is two of its subsidiary brands. Izivia specialises in charging infrastructure and a newly-launched entity, EDF-NUVVE, specialises in V2G commercial solutions. For their parts in the plan, the two EDF brands will develop fully integrated solutions including the management of the charge and discharge of Nissan EVs, such as the LEAF and e-NV200, as well as flexibility services to the grid available through storage.
One of the major goals that are shared by both Nissan and EDF is the creation of a workable, smart electric ecosystem across markets. Francisco Carranza, Managing Director for Nissan Energy in Europe, said: “This new partnership with EDF across four major European markets is another sign that our vision of an electric ecosystem is becoming a reality. Businesses are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits and opportunities offered by the Nissan LEAF and e-NV200, and adding a V2G solution is a logical next step for managing their energy supply and opening new revenue opportunities.”
EDF is also enthused about the opportunity this scheme will have in a much wider context, in the not-too-distant future: “Our customers are looking to us to help them transition to electric vehicles, and smart charging technologies are crucial to this journey,” said Béatrice Bigois, Managing Director, Customers at EDF Energy.
“By combining our expertise with Nissan, we are able to work together to make low-carbon transport a reality for businesses today and for a wider society in the near future. Our ability to offer our customers solutions that will help them to invest in electric vehicles and start to realise the financial and environmental benefits they bring is achievable through partnerships such as this.”