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GE, Nissan Partner on E-Car Power Infrastructure R&D

Nissan Leaf charging port (Nissan USA)

Nissan Leaf charging port (Nissan USA)

Nissan Motor Company and General Electric have signed a two-year research collaboration to speed up development of a smart charging infrastructure to promote mass market adoption of electric cars. Nissan is the maker of the Leaf, one of the first electric vehicles on the market in the U.S.

The companies have identified two key topics for their joint research. The first area examines integration of electric vehicles with homes and buildings. The second inquiry investigates electric vehicle charging dynamics and the impact on the power grid once millions of electric cars are on the road.

Specifically, researchers will seek answers to issues such as leveraging energy management systems for homes and buildings to support the management of vehicle charging. Another issue involves taking advantage of energy storage and renewable power, such as home solar arrays, to reliably meet the power needs of electric cars. For example, are there ways to directly link charging stations with renewable power sources?

Some of the projects in the collaboration are already underway. Researchers from the two companies, for example, are studying how electric cars like Nissan’s LEAF can be incorporated into GE’s overall concept for a smart home.

Nissan engineers are developing methods to connect the vehicle to the home, making it a more integrated part of the home’s energy equipment. This project will look at how the addition of an electric car impacts the cost of electricity and changes overall home electricity loads. Researchers in another study will use aggregate usage data along with sophisticated simulation and modeling experiments, to analyze the effect millions of electric cars could have on our electrical distribution system.

Researchers at Nissan are also studying the use of two-way power flow between the vehicle and the home, via its CHAdeMO quick charging port, as a method to reduce the home’s consumption from the grid during peak periods. Another issue is the potential use of an electric vehicle for emergency backup power. GE says its researchers have studies under way to understand how these systems, in tandem with a power utility, could be used to meet a community’s vehicle charging needs without over-stressing the grid.

Read more.

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1 comment to GE, Nissan Partner on E-Car Power Infrastructure R&D

  • .Nissan chief vehicle engineer Hidetoshi Kadota explains how to use a new charger to charge a Nissans electric vehicle during a media event unveiling the charger in Tokyo Monday Sept. AP Photo Shizuo Kambayashi TOKYO AP Nissan has developed a charger for electric vehicles thats smaller about half the price and easier to install..Nissan Motor Co. Japans No.