Money-Making Scheme for Electric Van Owners Outlined

Nissan's all electric E-NV200

Nissan's all electric E-NV200

Nissan is spearheading a trial project in which it is setting out to demonstrate that while its electric vans are charging they can do much more than simply accrue power - they could actively improve the functionality of entire electricity grids.

Bloomberg reports that the initiative involves 10 e-NV200 vans which have spent almost a year being put to work in Denmark, driving around by day and parking up at night to charge. The difference here is that unlike standard e-NV200s, these models are fitted with a two-way connection, enabling them to feed power back to the grid as and when required.

Such a set-up means that the vans can actually generate income for businesses while they are charging, since utilities providers are happy to pay for access to the extra capacity that this affords. The onboard batteries essentially help them to manage the amount of power which is available on the grid at any one time, storing it and then giving operators more flexibility during peak periods.

This is an important scheme not just because of its implications for lowering the cost of electric van ownership but also in terms of how it will allow those responsible for energy grids to adapt to the expected influx of power-hungry EVs over the coming decades.

At the moment the infrastructure in the UK and elsewhere is simply not set up to cope with a state of affairs in which the majority of the vehicles on the road, commercial or otherwise, require regular access to electricity to recharge their onboard batteries. This becomes even more troubling when the rise of rapid-charge technology is taken into account.

The two-way connection used by the e-NV200 vans in this trial scheme means that varying levels of demand can be dealt with, and the overall stability of the grid will be improved rather than suffering from extreme peaks and troughs that would be both dangerous and inefficient.

This trial is of course incredibly small in its scale and scope, but it still managed to allow each van to make the equivalent of almost £1200 back by selling power to the grid rather than simply taking it out all of the time. This suggests that the running costs associated with electric vans could effectively be eliminated if at some point further down the line the two-way connection becomes the norm.

Experts argue that it is important to take action and make decisions about how to embrace EVs sooner rather than later, as stumbling across problems in the future without preparing for them today will be especially costly. They also suggest that even with trials like this taking place, there are still potential hitches that have not even been considered - hence the need for ongoing testing and refinement.

The Nissan e-NV200 is of course not just some futuristic prototype van but a real-world option for commercial drivers today. And its potential to become even more practical adds to the undoubted appeal it already possesses.

Categories: Nissan /

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