A new exhibition centre is letting electric car owners pay for parking with ELECTRICITY as manufacturers look at ways of utilising zero emission vehicles outside of driving.

The Nissan Pavilion is a 10,000-square-metre, zero-emission centre fitted with solar panels and supplied with renewable hydroelectric power.

And in a global first, electric vehicle drivers will be able to discharge power from their car’s battery pack to pay for parking when they visit.

The process at the complex in Yokohama, Japan, has been designed to showcase the Nissan LEAF electric car’s ‘vehicle to grid’ (V2G) charging capability, and gives a glimpse at how British companies will be able to save money from their fleets of electric cars.

The LEAF, which is built at Nissan’s Sunderland plant as well as in Japan, has bi-directional charging that allows power to be pulled from its battery as well as be supplied to it.

On this occasion, the Nissan Pavilion is absorbing electricity from the Nissan as a ‘parking fee’, but the LEAF family hatchback can also be used to supply energy to bricks and mortar closer to home.

It is estimated the 62kWh battery from a Nissan LEAF can power the average UK home for a week.

Makoto Uchida, Nissan CEO, said: “The Pavilion is a place where customers can see, feel, and be inspired by our near-future vision for society and mobility.

“As the world shifts to electric mobility, EVs will be integrated into society in ways that go beyond just transportation.”

The exhibition centre also has a cafe which operates on power supplied by the LEAF electric cars and solar energy.

In the UK, Nissan has partnered with energy provider E.ON to explore the use of vehicle-to-grid charging.

The two companies have this week successfully installed 20 V2G (Vehicle-to-Grid) chargers at the car manufacturer’s European Technical Centre in Cranfield, Bedfordshire.

It demonstrates how storing and sharing electricity in fleet vehicles’ batteries can generate additional revenue for participating companies as well as supporting the power grid.

The project, co-funded by Innovate UK, allows energy stored in car batteries to be sold back to the grid when demand for power is high.

Vehicles can then charge when demand is lower or renewable generation is high, reducing reliance on fossil-fuelled generation, giving V2G a role in carbon reduction efforts.

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