Nissan has endorsed the first bidirectional charging system with its all-electric Leaf automobile in the US.
The FE-15 charger of Fermata Energy, which can power structures employing the EV’s battery, charge it, and dispatch stored energy back to the grid, is the first system of its sort to gain UL 9741 certification for bidirectional charging explanations.
The Nissan Leaf is a consolidated five-door hatchback battery electric vehicle (BEV) fabricated by Nissan. It was submitted in Japan and the United States in December 2010 and is presently in its second generation, introduced in October 2017.
The Leaf’s scope on a full charge has been increased gradually due to the help of a larger battery pack, along with several minor improvements.
In 2012, Nissan promised it, and maybe soon-to-be-discontinued EV would ultimately share its stored battery power back to your place or the grid during peak hours or even emergencies. This technology is extensively known as Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G), Vehicle-to-Home (V2H), and Vehicle-to-Load (V2L), which all can be employed interchangeably to define a system that converts EVs to backup power status.
Other automakers also have bidirectional charging solutions, including Ford’s Intelligent Backup Power feature for its all-electric F-150 Lightning truck. Finally, there are the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and 6 V2L parts that can complete them, great camping companions. On the other hand, Tesla is bearish about the idea, instead driving its devoted PowerWall battery backup key — the same one that scales to the size of virtual power plants.
For Nissan and Fermata, the solution is clear. The Leaf lessors can “build additional value from the energy kept in the vehicle’s battery.” In addition, the charger can help reduce the EV’s total cost of ownership by letting the building pull energy from it at peak times. Finally, Slutzky says it could also help reduce stress on the power grid, a problem that, while it doesn’t exist right now, could be an issue in the future unless utilities and grid operators make suitable investments.
All model year 2013 and more contemporary Nissan Leafs are approved for use with the FE-15 bidirectional charger, and the automaker states that battery warranties will not be affected. However, you’ll need a quick-charging CHAdeMO port on the Leaf to take advantage of bidirectional charging, which sometimes doesn’t come standard.
Notably, the 2013 model of the Leaf obtained a more robust but comparable capacity 24kWh battery than the 2012 model. Although earlier models did have a chance for fast charging, Nissan might not want to be responsible for the batteries’ health rapidly depleting.
Those interested in the FE-15 charger can contact the company through their website. However, regarding home use, company spokesperson Daniel Cherrin tells us, “That will have to wait for now.” Fermata Energy isn’t the only product in Nissan’s sight, though — the automaker is also working with another company called Dcbel that is creating a home-specific bidirectional charging solution.
It’s fantastic to see the CHAdeMO charging standard suddenly having a last hurrah. The port is slowly disappearing at various charging stations as CCS Combo has taken over. Nevertheless, a new feature like this is great to see and a great story to add to the Leaf’s legacy.