The widespread use of zero-emission vehicles, which produce no CO2 emissions during operation, is an effective way of helping to bring about a sustainable society. The auto industry must go beyond producing and selling zero-emission vehicles to help put the necessary infrastructure in place and assure that the vehicles are economical to use-goals that no company can accomplish on its own. The Renault-Nissan Alliance has made the launch and popularization of EVs a key strategy, and has committed to zero-emission leadership. In addition to boosting the development and production of EVs, we have forged more than 100 zero-emission partnerships with national and local governments, electric power companies and other partners in a range of industries to promote zero-emission mobility and to carry out discussions on the construction of the required infrastructure.
We are also taking part in a comprehensive range of initiatives focusing on zero-emission mobility, including the production of lithium-ion batteries, secondary use and recycling of batteries, in-house manufacture and sale of quick-charging equipment, construction of vehicle-charging infrastructure and standardization of charging methods with other manufacturers. The spread of zero-emission vehicles will pave the way for the development of a sustainable mobility society.
"LEAF to Home" Power Supply System
The "LEAF to Home" system in action, using the EV Power Station by Nichikon
In May 2012, Nissan unveiled a new system, "LEAF to Home" that enables electricity to be supplied from the lithium-ion batteries installed in Nissan LEAF to households through the EV Power Station built by Nichicon Corporation. Nissan LEAF can supply the electricity in its battery to a house when the car's quick-charging port is connected to the house's electricity distribution panel. This system provides completely new value made possible by the zero-emission vehicle's battery. In addition, the connector complies with the CHAdeMO Association's protocol for quick chargers, known for its versatility, safety and reliability.
With the "LEAF to Home", Nissan LEAF can be used as an electricity storage device for houses in times of power outages and/or shortages. The lithium-ion batteries can store up to a maximum of 24kWh of electricity. Nissan believes this system will be able to supply households with a stable amount of electricity throughout the day. The system can also help to reduce the burden on the power grid by charging Nissan LEAF with electricity generated at night (often at lower cost to the consumer), or through sustainable methods such as solar power, and using it during high demand periods.
The "LEAF to Home" power supply system has won the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) Minister's Prize in the Grand Prize for Excellence in Energy Efficiency and Conservation program, for its high efficiency and energy savings.
Popularization of Power Supply Systems
Nissan is promoting a power supply system that uses a Nissan LEAF battery as its power storage device. In April 2012, we helped the city of Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, to install systems manufactured by Tsubakimoto Kogyo Co., Ltd. and Tsubakimoto Chain Co. at a public facility. These bidirectional systems can both charge EVs and draw power from EV batteries as needed. By pairing these systems with the EV taxis that are already on Yokosuka's streets, we can help "peak shift" power usage to alleviate shortages in times of heavy demand, as well as make electricity available during a disaster or other emergency.
Nissan is also forming a wide range of partnerships to promote installation of power supply systems at individual homes and apartment complexes.
Powering Yokohama Marine Tower
From November 1 to 6, 2011, Nissan took part in the "Yokohama Marine Tower-LEAF Illumination 2001" event. Drawing on our "LEAF to Home" concept, we lit up Yokohama Marine Tower with power stored in a single Nissan LEAF. The vehicle was charged with solar power from the panels installed at our Global Headquarters in Yokohama. By providing the considerable amount of electricity needed for this event with clean energy sources, we were able to put on a beautiful illumination show while sharing our message of eco-friendliness with event visitors.
Infrastructure to Help the Spread of EVs
Nissan commenced sales of its new proprietary quick-charging unit at Nissan parts dealers throughout Japan in 2011. This unit retains the high performance of the previous version in approximately half the volume, allowing installation in smaller spaces. We have been installing charging units in our dealers since the launch of Nissan LEAF. As of the end of fiscal 2012, all of our dealers in stalled ordinary chargers and 800 dealers also installed quick-charging units in Japan.
In Japan, Nissan, Sumitomo Corp., NEC Corp. and Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K. jointly established a new recharging service company in 2012. This new company, Japan Charge Network Co., Ltd., has already begun trial service. Its infrastructure network now includes Nissan auto dealers, convenience stores in Kanagawa Prefecture and Narita Airport. The company is steadily building up a nationwide recharging infrastructure with full consideration of user convenience and the ways drivers will actually make use of it.
Nissan is also taking part in a program run by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) to promote next-generation vehicle-charging infrastructure. The plan is to install approximately 36,000 quick-charging units around Japan, a figure to match the number of gas stations operating in the country. We are currently considering ideal installation locations and methods of operation for these units.
Infrastructure-related efforts are underway overseas as well. At the end of January 2013, Nissan announced it would work together with auto dealerships, local governments, and companies like NRG Energy, Inc. and its eVgo charging network to install more than 500 new quick-charging stations for EVs within the following 18 months, thus quadrupling the number available to U.S. drivers. Earlier in that same month, we also announced our participation in the EV Everywhere Workplace Charging Challenge launched by the U.S. Department of Energy, which will see us installing charging stands at office buildings and other workplaces across America.
The Nissan Zero Emission Fund Launched
In June 2012, Nissan launched the Nissan Zero Emission Fund, a new fund for individual Nissan electric vehicle (EV) owners in Japan.Through participation in this fund program, Nissan LEAF owners are able to generate CO2 emissions credits certified by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and sold to the Green Investment Promotion Organization, an organization that promotes investment in low carbon emissions. The system calculates and certifies the amount of CO2 emissions that are avoided by driving zero-emissions vehicles. And profits earned by the sale of the credits will be invested by the fund to support the installation of quick charging facilities and forest conservation activities to accelerate the realization of a zero-emission society.
Nissan will engage in forest conservation efforts together with "more trees," a generally incorporated foundation in Japan. Nissan and more trees will use part of the profits generated by the fund to facilitate conservation of thinning forests in Japan that need reforestation, to be designated "LEAF Forests."
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