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Nissan and Eaton power ahead with second-life battery system

08 December 2015

Nissan has partnered with Eaton to ensure that the batteries powering electric vehicles work to mitigate the impact of climate change long after the life of the car.

Nissan UK battery plant

Nissan and Eaton will combine their respective expertise in lithium-ion batteries and power electronics respectively, to bring reliable and cost-competitive energy storage and control technologies to the market.

The partnership will focus on creating commercially viable energy storage and control centres that will provide a sustainable ‘second life’ for Nissan’s lithium-ion batteries after their automotive usage. With more than 70 years of electric vehicle heritage and over 50 years of experience in power electronics, Nissan and Eaton are primed to take on the challenge.

“The batteries as power storage units far outlast the typical life of a car," says Robert Lujan, electric vehicle director, Nissan Global. "In order to bring a commercially viable solution to the market, it requires not only the battery expertise of Nissan, but also the experience in power management, control and integration that Eaton offers. This partnership is the first step in delivering a real world system for our customers in the near future.”

The first module to be deployed will combine second-life LEAF batteries with Eaton’s uninterruptable power supply (UPS) technology and solar PV to create a stand-alone energy storage and control package that will allow customers to manage energy consumption and supply, whilst connected to, or independent of, the grid.

The storage and control module will offer an affordable, long-term method for harnessing clean energy, further facilitating the deployment of renewable energy and increased grid stability and efficiency.

“Having produced our own batteries, at our leading manufacturing sites worldwide, for many years; we will now be able to expand the life of our automotive batteries therefore reducing the need to use additional resources from the planet to produce new batteries,” says Lujan.

“These systems will really facilitate the wider adoption and deployment of renewable generation, giving people greater control over their energy supply and consumption," says Cyrille Brisson of Eaton Electrical EMEA. “The wide-ranging benefits of such a unit include continuity of supply, increased grid stability and efficiency, avoidance of peak energy tariffs and a reduction in the reliance on expensive fuels like diesel to compensate for no-grid or poor-grid situations.”

The partnership announcement was made during the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21), for which the Renault-Nissan Alliance is providing a fleet of two hundred 100 percent electric vehicles - including the Nissan LEAF - for participants.

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