Japanese Carmaker Nissan Debuts Home Solar and Battery System Program
Nissan, the creator of the extremely successful electric vehicle, Leaf, is entering the residential solar and home battery market. Much like Tesla, Nissan is developing an integrated electric platform through which homeowners can generate and store energy to power their homes and electric vehicles.
The U.K. Only – For Now
Nissan is currently limiting its solar and storage system offerings to the U.K. Though the country may not seem as likely a location as sunny California, more than 1 million residents have already gone solar.
While the country sees many cloudy winter days, gray weather won’t stop panels from producing. Furthermore, due to the country’s northern location, summer days can be as long as 16 hours – a lot of time to generate electricity!
Nissan is excited by the potential to help the UK become an even more environmentally friendly country. According to Nissan’s electric vehicle director for Nissan Europe, Gareth Dunsmore, this solar and storage system “enables UK homeowners to make significant savings on their household electricity bills, and become champions of sustainability and green technology.” Though the company is not currently looking to expand to the U.S., a Nissan spokesperson said they’re “always looking at ways to bring new, interesting technology to our customers here.”
Nissan Solar and Battery Pricing
A complete system – featuring six solar panels and a 4 kWh battery – is priced at $10,300 after installation. Given that six solar panels without a battery are $5,200, it seems that Nissan may charge somewhere around $5,000 for a 4 kWh battery.
Mercedes-Benz, which just exited the market, was charging $5,000 for a 2.5 kWh battery which makes Nissan seem like a good deal. However, Tesla’s Powerwall 2 offers much more storage – 14 kWh – for around $10,000.
Unlike Tesla, however, Nissan buyers can choose between a second-life battery recycled from former electric vehicle cells or a regular, new battery. According to Nissan, the option to have a recycled battery has the added value of making the entire system more sustainable.
One Battery for Car and Home?
The company is tinkering with the possibility of creating EV batteries capable of powering homes, thereby bypassing the need for a separate home battery. The battery would feature advanced controls to allow for sufficient driving range and could ultimately help homeowners further reduce costs. However, no timeline is given for the project and it seems to remain up in the air.
New developments by companies like Nissan and Tesla point to the market heating up. The capacity for batteries – especially automotive batteries – also seems to be expanding. BMW recently connected more than 500 i3 battery packs to the U.K. National Grid as part of a large-scale storage project. For now, it seems that the potential for batteries increases every day.