Nissan has given the go-ahead for the first bi-directional charger for its electric Leaf hatchback in the US.
The FE-15 charger, developed by vehicle-to-grid systems company Fermata Energy, is verified to be compatible with the Leaf, Nissan’s first vehicle capable of supplying energy back to the grid. The concept, first introduced as a pilot scheme under the ‘Nissan Energy Share’ banner in late 2018, was designed primarily for companies with fleet vehicles, the idea being that company headquarters, or its chapters, could draw on ‘lower-cost energy’ stored in the Leaf’s battery packs to power the building during high-demand periods. A principal the brand refers to as “demand-charge management.”
Other benefits for fleet / private Leaf owners using the FE-15 include lower rates for charging, and thus the overall cost of ownership of the vehicle. Nissan also confirms that bi-directional charging, among many initiatives launched under Nissan’s ‘Ambition 2030’ electrification strategy, will not impact the warranty of the battery.
Prospective uses with residential properties and with third-party companies are also said to be on the agenda for the FE-15 and the brand’s wider ‘Vehicle-To-Everything (V2X)’ market moving forward.
Alongside bi-directional charging, the Nissan Energy Share program also installed second-life batteries from the Leaf as energy storage options for many of the Japanese marque’s North American facilities. Turns out that’s not the only thing you can do with second-life batteries either … .