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GE, Nissan Team on Smart Charging for Electric Vehicles

GE and Nissan have signed a three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to explore new technologies that are needed to build a reliable, dynamic smart-charging infrastructure for electric vehicles.

GE and Nissan have outlined two key areas for potential collaborations. The first relates to the integration of electric vehicles with homes and buildings. The second focuses on electric vehicle charging dynamics with the larger electric grid. The program will quantify the impact of electric vehicle integration with the grid through both modeling/simulation and actual experimental data, according to Matt Nielsen in GE’s Smart Grid Lab. Nielsen is the research lead for GE on the MOU with Nissan.

Nissan LEAF Reservations
Nissan logged 6,635 $99 reservations for the LEAF EV in the US during the first two days of the program. (Earlier post.)
75% of the reservations came from the initial LEAF markets, with a large amount coming from California and other West Coast states.

In coming months, GE and Nissan will work to identify specific projects they can partner on in each of these areas.

Much of the GE work will be conducted at GE’s global research operations located in Niskayuna, New York, where the latest electric transportation research and smart grid technology will facilitate the collaboration.

Nissan will participate mainly through it Nissan Technical Center North America, located in Farmington Hills, Michigan, with support by the Nissan Advanced Technology Center in Japan.

In the past few years, we have seen an acceleration of innovations in plug-in hybrid and electric cars that have sparked a revolution in smart-charging technologies. Together with Nissan, we will take a comprehensive look at what technologies will be needed in the car, on the grid and at home or work to make smart charging a reality.

—Mark Little, senior vice president and director, GE Global Research

In a post on Edison’s Desk, Nielsen outlined his view of some of the challenges EVs face that may affect the adoption curve, including the capability of home wiring; available charging programs; vehicle cost; cable management; charging infrastructure outside of the home; and clustering of electric vehicles (i.e., potential disruption of local electrical distribution systems, including transformers).

The MOU announced today by GE and Nissan will also look to help develop a more quantitative understanding for several of these potential issues. We will also look to investigate methods to connect vehicles to local buildings or homes in a manner that is synergistic with the existing loads, such as appliances and heating/cooling systems. The joint team will also look to understand the synergistic role that an aggregated number of vehicles can play with the electrical grid system.

—Matt Nielsen

The Nissan Advanced Technology Center (NATC) is Nissan’s centralized R&D facility, located in Kanagawa prefecture, Japan, and includes an Advanced Vehicle Lab and Electric Powertrain Lab.

Nissan has two other major facilities based in the Kanagawa Prefecture for product planning, R&D and advanced development: the Nissan Technical Center (NTC) in Atsugi and Nissan Research Center (NRC) in Yokosuka.



Nissan pro-active attitude towards electrified vehicles and associated infrastructures implementation will pay off soon. ALL other vehicle manufacturers will have to follow (and try to catch up) to stay in business.


The march toward fast charging is insane and thoughtless. Typical US consumers will buy a BEV because its "green" and then run it down on charge, and pull into a fast charging station for a quick fill up during peak hours. The implications both for the planet and the electric grid, are disastrous. It would arguably be greener (more efficient) to simply burn a fossil fuel efficiently in the vehicle; whether to charge or for locomotion.
On one point, no argument--if you slow charge your BEV at night the grid can handle this and it is a green option.



One may assume that the great majority will be over night slow charges at home or in semi-public over night charging stands. The only regular exception may be people on longer trips having to recharge in quick charge stations along highways. The majority of those people would probably use PHEVs, at least until such time as batteries are improved to supply 500+ Km e-range.


It will be the last 'several feet' to the car at home that will be interesting.

Happen to have an empty garage, fabulous - otherwise?
Live in a snow-free, frost-free climate, fabulous - otherwise?
Live in a new home with plenty of capacity on your panel, fabulous - otherwise?
Live in a new neighborhood with new, resilient transformers and reliable infrastructure, fabulous - otherwise?

I didn't say it can't be done, but should be interesting.



Actually with the average commute being only 20 miles the "typical US consumer" will be able to slow charge their BEV at night.


"his view of some of the challenges EVs face that may affect the adoption curve, including the capability of home wiring; available charging programs; vehicle cost; cable management;..."

Sorry this reads like a guy trying to find a job. People can slow charge their vehicles overnight with a standard 20A 120V circuit. they buy a GREEN car to er, save on cost, environment, foreign oil, etc. Quick charging is a fantasy until a different breed of drivers starts buying EVs. Read the Tesla owner reports. They just plan trips to the next needed charge point.

All this "smart" grid and charge dialog is a product in search of a problem.

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