Nissan today announced that it has approved the first-ever bi-directional electric vehicle charger for use with the Nissan LEAF in the United States.
Made by Fermata Energy, the FE-15 was actually first showcased by the automaker in 2018 and it has now been verified and passed Nissan‘s key requirements for use with the LEAF. As such, use of the bi-directional charger will not impact the EV’s battery warranty.
A bi-directional charger allows an EV to be plugged into a port and charged, just like any other unit. It can, however, also draw energy from a vehicle’s battery. That’s useful because it can allow, say, a home to draw on the electricity stored in a LEAF’s battery during peak hours, helping to lower your bill, and then charge the car during off-peak hours, stabling out the grid and minimizing your power bill.
“Nissan Energy will enable our customers to use their electric cars for much more than just driving – now they can be used in nearly every aspect of the customer’s lives,” said Executive Vice President Daniele Schillaci, Nissan’s global head of marketing and sales in 2019. “Our Nissan Intelligent Mobility vision calls for changing how cars are integrated with society, and Nissan Energy turns that vision into reality.”
Now finally a reality, Nissan says that the Fermata Energy FE-15 is perfect for fleet companies and comes with a demand charge management app that continuously monitors a building’s electrical load to know when it should call upon the energy stored in the LEAF’s batteries.
More than simply a generator, the bi-directional charger is actually hooked up to the grid, allowing it to send energy back into the power grid in states with utility demand response programs, which could allow owners to get paid for their power.
Neither Nissan nor Fermata Energy list prices, but those interested in the charger can inquire about pricing at the latter’s website.