Nissan and GE signed a two-year research collaboration pact to speed up the adoption of electric vehicles.
The Japanese carmaker, whose Nissan LEAF is one of the first EVs to be available to customers worldwide, is teaming up with GE to more quickly roll out a refueling infrastructure for the new vehicles. Access to battery recharging stations is seen as a key requirement for the growth of EVs.
In a press release, GE and Nissan said they would focus their research on two areas: The integration of EVs with homes and buildings and the way in which EVs are charged and what impact the growth of electric mobility will have on the grid.
Mark Little, senior vice president and director of GE Global Research, said his company, as a major provider of power generation equipment and energy services is well positioned to help the car industry connect EVs to the grid. Citing new alliances that car companies are forming with other industries, he said: "One of the biggest connections being made is with companies that generate and provide electricity."
Nissan Americas' 's senior vice president r&d, Carla Bailo, added: "GE's broad expertise with energy networks will help Nissan create better conditions in the market for electric cars."
GE claims that more than 25 pc of the world's electricity is generated or distributed by GE equipment, giving it considerable expertise of the power grid infrastructure.
In one project already underway, Nissan and GE researchers are studying how electric cars like Nissan LEAF can be incorporated into GE's overall concept for a Smart Home. This project will look at the electricity cost impact of EVs and how their arrival affectshome electricity loads.
In another study, researchers will simulate the impact of millions of electric cars on electrical distribution systems.
On the GE side, work will primarily be carried out at the company's global research operations in Niskayuna, New York. Nissan's research will be run from the group's Technical Center North America, which is located in Farmington Hills outside Detroit.