Nissan Leaf fleet can power offices and homes

by Nicholas Brown.

nissan leafs power office building
Nissan Leaf fleet powers office building in Atsugi, Japan.

Originally published on EV Obsession.

You may have heard of the vehicle-to-grid (V2G) concept in which electric vehicles can supply their battery power to electricity grids during peak hours and other electricity shortages. Nissan recently decided to apply a somewhat similar concept to the Nissan Advanced Technology Center in Atsugi City, Japan. The company calls it “Vehicle-to-Building.” During peak hours, when electricity prices are highest, the vehicles supply their battery power to the building, enabling them to avoid this peak charge.

Wait… doesn’t the battery power come from the grid anyway?

Yes, it does. However, the energy stored in the car batteries is cheaper, as it is obtained during off-peak hours, when electricity prices are lowest. Nissan said it achieved this without affecting workers’ commutes, and the electric vehicles‘ batteries are guaranteed to be fully charged by the end of the day.

According to Nissan, this will also be applied to homes. The company calls this “Leaf to Home.”

It is a win-win situation because power grids get to sell their surplus electricity, and homes/buildings get to enjoy cheaper electricity.

Why Does All This Matter? Why Is Electricity More Expensive In The Afternoon?

Typical thermal power plants (coal, natural gas steam, and nuclear) are slow to adjust to fluctuations in power demand. Therefore, when electricity demand spikes during the peak hours mentioned, they cannot scale up in time, and in some cases, they can’t scale up at all, due to a lack of generation capacity. Therefore, peaking power plants are used instead, as they can start quickly to prevent blackouts and brownouts. There is a catch, though. Peaking power plants are expensive, which is why electricity is expensive during peak hours.

Similarly, excess electricity supply from thermal power plants at night results in very cheap electricity at night. In regions where prices are based on this demand and supply balance (like in the story above), if you have the ability to “buy low and sell high,” you can make some serious cash.

For more Nissan stories, visit our Nissan channel.

Image Credit: Nissan

Follow me on Twitter at @Kompulsa

This article, Nissan Leafs Can Power Both Offices & Homes, is syndicated from Clean Technica and is posted here with permission

About the Author

Nicholas BrownNicholas Brown has a keen interest in physics-intensive topics such as electricity generation, refrigeration and air conditioning technology, energy storage, geography, and much more. My website is: Kompulsa.

The Seven Greenest Vehicles on Earth

The Seven Greenest Vehicles on Earth | 12/08/13
Originally published on Shrink That Footprint

According to Wikipedia, a ‘vehicle’ is a:

mobile machine that transports passengers or cargo. Most often vehicles are manufactured, such as bicycles, cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles, trains, ships, boats and aircraft.

But somehow, a ‘green vehicle’ is a:

road motor vehicle that produces less harmful impacts to the environment than comparable conventional internal combustion engine vehicles running on gasoline or diesel.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Wikipedia, but I do find it a little ironic that ‘green vehicles’ are pigeonholed as cars. Because on a full lifecycle emissions basis, cars really aren’t that green compared to other options.

greenest vehicles on earth
The World’s 7 Greenest Vehicles. Image by Shrink That Footprint.

 

Here’s my take on the world’s seven greenest vehicles.

7: The Nissan Leaf

I thought I’d be charitable and include a car. After all, a huge chunk of global passenger kilometers are from automobiles, so better cars are hugely important for the future. I’ve plumped for the Nissan Leaf as it is the leading all-electric car in Japan, the US, UK, Norway…. Using low-carbon electricity, electric car emissions are down around 50 g CO2e/pkm (passenger kilometre), almost all of which comes from vehicle manufacturing.

The nissan leaf
The Nissan Leaf Electric Vehicle. Image by Shrink That Footprint.

6: The Intercity Coach

It may surprise you, but the typical Stagecoach or Greyhound diesel bus can often have lower emissions per passenger kilometer than the best electric car. That’s because intercity buses travel at efficient speeds on highways, have decent occupancy, and have tiny manufacturing emissions, as they are spread over so many passengers. I’ve seen a bunch of studies ranging from 35-85 g CO2e/pkm.

The Intercity Coach
The Intercity Coach. Image by Shrink That Footprint.

5: The School Bus

This one is probably even more surprising, but school buses typically have quite low emissions. Not because they are über efficient, or because they do smooth highway miles, but simply because they have such high occupancy. Emissions per passenger kilometer are typically in the 20-50 g CO2e/pkm range.

The School Bus
The School Bus. Image by Shrink That Footprint.

4: High Speed Rail

High-speed rail can be very low carbon, particularly with the right juice. We’ve taken the Eurostar and TGV from London down to the Pyrenees a couple of times with emissions about a tenth of what a flight would have been. The largely nuclear electricity in France means emissions of 17 g CO2e/pkm on their high-speed network. Typically, emissions are from 10-60 g CO2e/pkm depending on fuel source.

High Speed Rail
High Speed Rail. Image by Shrink That Footprint.

3: Light Urban Rail

Any form of electric train can provide very low carbon miles if it has the right juice. Busy trams, metro, or light-rail systems can also have low emissions. The example below is from Bergen in Norway, where hydro power is dominant. Lifecycle emissions can range from 10-50 g CO2e/pkm depending on fuel source, efficiency, and occupancy.

Light urban rail
Light Urban Rail. Image by Shrink That Footprint.

2: The Electric Bike

Guess how many electric bikes there are in China today? 200 million!! That number floored me when I first saw it. Almost 30 million e-bikes will be sold in China this year alone. That is about half the number of passenger cars globally. In coal-reliant China, an electric bike has average lifecycle emissions of 22 g CO2e/pkm. Depending on fuel mix, they are typically in the range of 5-30 g CO2e/pkm.

Electric bike
The Electric Bike. Image by Shrink That Footprint.

1: The Flying Pigeon Bicycle

The ‘Flying Pigeon‘ is the most popular [green] vehicle of all time. More than 500 million have been produced since 1950. Based on the 1932 Raleigh Roadster, the popular model came in black, with one speed, 28 in (710 mm) wheels, a fully covered chain, sprung leather saddle, rear rack, and rod brakes. This is an old-school classic. In China, where the diet is relatively low carbon and electricity carbon intensive, this bike edges the eBike at around 10 g CO2e/pkm.

The flying pigeon
The Flying Pigeon Bicycle. Image by Shrink That Footprint.

What is missing from the list?

This isn’t the most scientific of lists, and I get the feeling I must be missing some options? You can get a better grip of the data in our 5 Elements of Sustainable Transport post. The one thing that really surprised me in this post is the rise of electric bikes. It is about 90% a China story currently, but the rate of growth in Brazil, Europe, India, and even the US is really impressive.

This article, 7 Greenest Vehicles On Earth, is syndicated from Clean Technica and is posted here with permission.

About the Author

Shrink That FootprintShrink That Footprint Shrink That Footprint is a resource for squeezing more life out of less carbon. We are an independent research group that provides information to people interested in reducing their climate impact. Our core focus is understanding, calculating, and reducing personal carbon footprints.

Massive Growth Of Electric Cars In U.S. + Who Drives Electric Cars [Infographic]

by Zachary Shahan

.

We’ve already covered much of this, but I think there are some new stats here, and it’s always interesting to see these stats about the massive growth of electric cars in the US. So, enjoy this EV Obsession repost!

The Wall Street Journal (which I just railed on the other day for a horrible post about solar energy) has actually published a pretty interesting infographic on who drives electric cars. Granted, I saved myself the probable pain of reading the related article — but maybe it was actually a decent piece as well. If you read it, let me know.

The infographic highlights several interesting facts, which I note here in text form for those of you who prefer straight text:

  • 100% electric and plug-in hybrid electric cars grew tremendously in the US in 2011, and then again in 2012. And they are going to far eclipse 2012 sales in 2013. 2010 sales = 345; 2011 sales = 17,735; 2012 sales = 52,835; 2013 = an even much higher number.
  • Over 30% of 2013 US electric car and plug-in hybrid sales have occurred in San Francisco and Los Angeles.
  • About 77% of new Leaf and Volt owners have household incomes over $100,000 per year. That compares to about 33% of all new-car buyers in 2012.
  • Plug-in car owners drive these cars less than average Americans drive — about 9,000 miles vs. 13,500 miles. (Notably, this research didn’t include Tesla Model S owners.)
  • Volt owners drive their Volts an average of 41 miles a day, while Leaf owners drive their Leafs an average of 30 miles a day.
  • The most popular time for charging EVs is in the hours just after midnight, thanks to surplus electricity supply and thus lower electricity rates (or no charge at all) in those hours.

Repost.Us - Republish This Article

This article, Massive Growth Of Electric Cars In U.S. + Who Drives Electric Cars [Infographic] is syndicated from Clean Technica and is posted here with permission.

About the Author

Zachary Shahan is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy for the past four years or so. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he’s the Network Manager for their parent organization – Important Media – and he’s the Owner/Founder of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.

Free National Plug In Days Will Hit 75+ Cities

by Zachary Shahan – Special to JBS News

national plug in day

The 3rd Annual National Plug In Day is coming up. The 2013 “holiday” will include tens of thousands of people at free events in 75+ cities. Started in the US, the day is still mostly celebrated in the US, but Amsterdam and the city of Hermosillo in Mexico will also reportedly be joining the fun this year.

“The goal of events from West Palm Beach to Seattle to Reno will be to give consumer information and test-drives to more EV newcomers than ever,” a Plug In America press release notes. “These gasoline-car drivers will be able to experience the quiet, clean thrill of plug-in vehicles first-hand while learning about their cost-savings, national security and clean-air benefits.”

“Thanks to the continued drop in prices, plug-in vehicles are now within the reach of millions of Americans. Many are now driving ‘for free’ because their car payments are equal to or even less than they paid for gasoline,” said Plug In America president Richard Kelly. “Our aim is to raise awareness of this affordability and the many other benefits of EVs.”

Events will feature a range of different activities, such as test drives, EV charging station demos, parades, tailgate parties, etc.

The “day” actually varies by city. It could be Sept 28 (Saturday) or Sept 29 (Sunday). A map of participating cities can be viewed here.

Other than Plug In America, national organizers include the Sierra Club and the Electric Auto Association. National sponsors include the Nissan LEAF and Schneider EVlink.

For related news, check out our EV news archives, previous Plug In America news, and previous coverage of National Plug In Day!

This article, Free National Plug In Days Will Hit 75+ Cities, is syndicated from Clean Technica and is posted here with permission.

About the Author

Zachary Shahan is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy for the past four years or so. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he’s the Network Manager for their parent organization – Important Media – and he’s the Owner/Founder of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.

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Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt Both Break Their US Monthly Sales Records

by Zachary Shahan — Special to JBS News

The month of August was a good one for plug-in electric car companies. Two of the three leading electric cars (in terms of sales) broke their US monthly sales records last month (we don’t have monthly sales numbers for the other one).

The Nissan Leaf’s new all-time best is 2,420, while the Chevy Volt’s new all-time best is 3,351.

nissan-leaf-sales

The August sales results also now put the Chevy Volt (14,994) ahead of the Nissan Leaf (14,123) in cumulative 2013 sales. The two cars have been trading places at the top for the past few months or so. It feels like the last stretch of an important race in a Hollywood movie, IMHO.

2013 Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt sales are leagues above their 2012 sales. As regular readers know, the US Leaf tantalized the market with a $6,400 price cut in January (thanks to the start of production within the US, which cut costs tremendously), while the Chevy Volt finally did the same last month with a $5,000 price cut (which may not have been as warranted as the Leaf’s).

volt-production

I’ll have a full August 2013 electric and hybrid car sales update here soon. Hold on tight, it might be an interesting one. Overall, though, as I think you’d guess, it looks like August was a record month for plug-in electric cars.

This article, Nissan Leaf & Chevy Volt Both Break Their US Monthly Sales Records, is syndicated from Clean Technica and is posted here with permission.

About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy for the past four years or so. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he’s the Network Manager for their parent organization – Important Media – and he’s the Owner/Founder of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.

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