Making our vision a reality
The evolving relationship between mobility and energy can provide real opportunities to people and communities around the world. At Nissan we refer to this as our electric ecosystem.
Evidenced in products and concepts adopted across Europe in the last 18 months, battery technology from our electric vehicles (EVs) sits at the centre of this ecosystem. EV battery technology is set to have an infinite number of new uses, powering homes, businesses and transport infrastructure while offering stability to the wider electrical grid. Better still, this isn't happening in some far-off future – it's happening today.
The following projects, well underway in the Netherlands, provide a great snapshot of the kind of work we're doing.
The first example is the Voorhout Housing Development on the outskirts of Amsterdam, on which Nissan has worked hand-in-hand with energy provider 4YEF and housebuilder van der Hulst Bouwbedrijf to construct 33 new smart homes. These homes are so smart, in fact, they can generate more energy than they use. This is thanks to efficient building materials, solar panels and xStorage Home units which use Nissan EV batteries in a fully integrated domestic power system. The best part? Homeowners can save money by using solar energy at peak times and charging their battery unit at cheaper times, all the while being able to sell excess electricity back to the grid for a profit.
While this model works brilliantly for individual homes, it's also powering homes of an altogether different nature. By this, we mean the home of legendary Dutch football club AFC Ajax – which just so happens to be the 55,000 seat Johan Cruijff ArenA in Amsterdam. Here, Nissan has collaborated with a number of partners including The Mobility House and Eaton to install a large-scale energy storage solution that comprises the equivalent to 148 new and second-life Nissan LEAF batteries – making it the largest energy storage system combining new and second-life EV batteries in a commercial building in Europe.
Providing back-up power to an area of the Arena, the system has a storage capacity of 3-megawatts – enough to charge 500,000 iPhones or provide energy to 7,000 homes in Amsterdam! Crucially, it provides a reliable power supply at all times, while saving a huge 117,000 tonnes of CO2. This means there's now much less chance of concerts or big games being interrupted by a power cut. What's more, the solution also keeps the neighbours happy by helping smooth out demand on the wider grid, meaning the local area benefits from a more reliable power supply as well.
Of course, Nissan's battery technology began with a vision of making driving more efficient. But what about flying? Helping Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport realise its aim of becoming the world's most sustainable airport, Nissan has supplied electric Ground Power unit (eGPU) builder ITW GSE with 40kWH Nissan LEAF battery packs to power aircraft on the tarmac. Today, eGPUs are being used at airports in Rotterdam, Eindhoven, Frankfurt, Brisbane, Australia and amongst other places. These clean, silent electric alternatives reduce CO2 output by up to 90% compared to equivalent diesel generators and create a much nicer environment for workers on the ground.
To be truly environmentally friendly, though, we realise that the electricity charging these battery systems should come from sustainable sources. To achieve this, the xStorage Home units at the Voorhout Housing development and the system at the Johan Cruijff Arena connect directly with solar panels, for clean, sustainable power.
Understanding that Nissan needed to follow this example at our own facilities, we proudly launched a brand-new solar roof at the Nissan's Motor Part Center (NMPC) in Amsterdam in summer 2018. Made up of almost 9,000 solar panels, the installation produces enough electricity to power 900 homes. The largest collective solar roof in The Netherlands, it also saves a serious amount of Co2 – more than 1.17 million kilograms annually.
We believe investment in projects like these are a key to realising a cleaner, safer and fairer future. Nissan's electric ecosystem is real – and it's coming to a house, business, airport or stadium near you.