It seemed like a normal Tuesday morning. I hopped on the train heading to London for Nissan Futures with no idea what to expect. I was greeted by a row of 30 kWh Nissan Leafs we arrived at the ultra trendy ‘Studio Space E1’. Nissan had gone all-out for the invited guests with demonstrations of its Rapid Chargers and model cities which gave us a glimpse of what its vision of a ‘Connected Street’ will look like.
After sampling the food and drink we got down to business. The whole reason for the event was to show us Nissan’s future plans and where it hoped to take us in the coming years. The event was a build on from what we saw at the Geneva Motor Show and its ‘Intelligent Mobility Vision’ which promises less congestion and more connectivity; inspiring people and businesses to adopt a ‘smarter’ way of living.
Throughout the day Nissan gave us a series of announcements, talks and demos, which surprisingly were extremely engaging an informative. Certainly not one of these events where you see journalists asleep with dictaphones left recording the event for them.
Nissan’s European Chairman Paul Willcox was our host with a supporting cast of guest speakers including National Grid CEO, Steven Holliday as well as speakers from technology start-ups, Pavegen (paving tiles that actually produce energy! More info to follow on this…) and Chargifi (mobile wireless charging company that give you the ability to charge your phone through table tops… sure we’ll be seeing more from them in terms of charging in the near future!)
At the event, Nissan unveiled a series of breakthrough announcements concerning electric vehicles and next generation battery technology. They included:
- A major vehicle-to-grid trial in the UK in partnership with energy provider Enel that will see Nissan electric vehicles supplying the UK’s National Grid with an efficient and flexible source of energy. A trial of 100 vehicle-to-grid units will commence in the UK later this year. It will enable Nissan electric vehicle owners to give energy from their vehicle’s battery back to the UK grid, providing a cost effective, sustainable and reliable source of power, while helping consumers save and make money.
- A revolutionary new residential energy storage system called xStorage developed alongside Eaton, the global leaders in power management. The system will not only give Nissan electric vehicle batteries a ‘second life’, but will also provide customers with a fully integrated energy storage solution that will put energy management and distribution back in the hands of the consumer.
- Confirmation that Nissan will integrate V2G technology and energy storage solutions into all of its major European offices by the end of 2017. Further details will be announced in the coming months.
Paul Willcox, Chairman, Nissan Europe said: “The creation of the ‘Nissan Futures’ series was borne out of Nissan’s deep desire to create a safer and more sustainable future for everyone. It’s no longer enough for automakers to work in a silo. The challenges of tomorrow require solutions that transcend single industries or companies. That’s why we’re partnering with like-minded businesses from other sectors to deliver new solutions that support a more sustainable future.”
“Electric dreams are now electric reality”
By the end of the day many of us felt like we had just returned Back from the Future with all the facts, figures and technology we’d just absorbed. All that was left was the evening event at the iconic Gherkin building in central London, where Nissan proudly announced that after just three years after introducing electric vehicle and battery manufacturing to Europe, the 50,000th European-built Nissan LEAF has rolled off the production line. We then drank champagne, ate food and danced the night away high above the London skyline.
After all has been said and done it was fantastic to have a better insight into the future of Nissan and its commitment to a zero emission future. The only question left on our lips is, ‘where is the GT-R EV?’
Keep an eye out for our full review on the Nissan Leaf 30 kWh which we took to Paris and back…