When you think of the electric cars, Tesla is perhaps the name that first comes to your mind. For all its technical achievements, the Elon Musk-backed company has also done a great job of marketing and made itself synonymous with the electric cars industry. But as industry observers know, if there’s one car that’s come close to matching – and at times exceeding – Tesla’s success, it’s the Nissan Leaf.
The Nissan Leaf was the world’s best selling electric car for a couple of years, and at other times was not too far behind Tesla’s offerings. While Tesla is the upstart that has shaken up multiple industries, Nissan, of course, is among the incumbents in one of the biggest industries in the world. The automaker invited Gadgets 360 to its headquarters in Yokohama, Japan earlier this year, and we got an opportunity to pick the brains of some of the company executives to understand the company’s vision for the future of mobility.
We touched upon a wide range of topics, from autonomous driving – and the role Nissan will play in its evolution – to clean energy, and the company’s beliefs that vehicle-to-grid might be a huge opportunity for automakers and consumers alike.
What is vehicle-to-grid?
If you’ve heard anything about electric cars, you’ve obviously realised that they need to be charged regularly, often at night, when the car is standing idle in the garage. With vehicle-to-grid, automakers want to make the relationship between the cars and the grid a lot more involved, starting with how the cars might want to give back to the grid.
Daniele Schillaci, EVP, Nissan explains.
“The EV [Electric Vehicle] technology is changing also the cost of ownership for the customer,” says Schillaci. “Because today, when you have normal technology – gasoline or diesel – your car in the night, is stuck on the garage, you cannot use it, it’s a fixed cost. The EV technology – thanks to the vehicle-to-home – means the car, even when you don’t use it, it becomes a variable cost. Because during the night, your house charges the car because the electricity fee is very low during the night. And during the day, your car can charge your house, when the electricity fee is higher.”
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