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July 26, 2017, 06:36 PM

Salvo, electric cars and V2G

By Thornton Kay

Our Nissan Leaf and a Tesla P85 at Salvo Fair - with an electric Thames launch [photo Salvo

Nissan power to the people poster

Kent, UK - For the past twelve years I have not owned a car and used trains, buses, car rental and car clubs instead. These are fossil-fuelled, so having vacillated for a couple of years in July 2016 I bought a pure electric car.

It was an ex-demonstrator six months old Nissan Leaf Tekna 30kWh, with a range of 120 miles on a fine day with a following wind. There is a three year all-in warranty and free servicing on this Sunderland-built model, with an 8 year or 100,000 mile warranty on the electrics including the battery which Nissan will replace if it falls below 75% of its new capacity.

The Nissan showroom offered a suprisngly good deal, possibly due to the purchase being made in the week after Brexit when the sales team was bereft of customers, which included a free 7kW home charger which was installed a couple of weeks later. The charger takes around an hour to get the car to 90% and four to five hours to get it to 100% using electricity supplied by Ecotricity. It is charged at night between 12am and 6am. We are not on Economy 7 or other off-peak deals so the power costs 14p/kWh.

For the past twelve months charging at motorway services was free, but that is about to change to around 5 a charge. The car has done 9,000mls at an average for the year of 4.1mls per kW which gives a cost of 3.4p per mile for home-charging, or a lot less using motorway charging. Some long trips have cost less than 1p per mile.

Ecotricity generates 100% renewable electricity, and built the 'Electric Highway' by installing electric car chargers at all UK motorway services. I have been a customer since the 1990s, so whether the Leaf is charged at our base or during a trip at motorway service stations it is almost always running on renewable power. I did not want an electric car which ran on power supplied by nuclear or fossil fuel.

An average house uses around 7.5kW of electrical energy a day. It would be feasible to charge the Leaf during very low demand between midnight and 6am and then use the car to power the home and office in the daytime and peak times in the evenings - known as 'Vehicle To Grid' or V2G. If the 30,000 UK electric car owners had V2G it would save the UK enough energy to allow the mothballing of a whole power station.

At last month's Salvo Fair the Nissan Leaf was accompanied by a Tesla S series saloon, kindly displayed by EVision, rated at 85kWh which have a range of around 260mls. The earlier versions of these cars, on offer secondhand for around 45,000, have access to Tesla's superchargers free of charge for the life of the car, which could be a bargain for a high-mileage driver. However Tesla has no intention of developing V2G technology since it is already selling it's 6kW battery packs under the Powerwall brand which owners then fix inside their houses.

See the attached V2G infographic from Nissan (image below)

Clean Energy News: V2G
EVision: Tesla rental

Story Type:  News

ID: 101280

Date Modified: July 27, 2017, 04:46 PM

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