► Tesla Solar Roof competitor
► Typical system starting at £3800
► Requires Nissan xStorage
The Leaf EV might be one of the most popular electric cars in the world, but it only represents part of Nissan’s plan for sustainability. As well as a maker of electric cars, Nissan – just like Tesla – is becoming a one-stop-shop for all your sustainable energy needs. First Nissan announced xStorage, a home battery system that works in the same way as the Tesla Powerwall 2, and now Nissan Energy Solar, its solar cell system is available in the UK.
What is Nissan Energy Solar?
Before we talk about Nissan Energy Solar, it’s worth outlining the car maker’s sustainable end game. Like Tesla, Nissan’s plan involves three key areas, solar energy, home batteries and the electric car – and they’re all linked in a virtuous circle of efficiency.
Nissan’s xStorage home batteries use identical cell technology to that used in its cars, and come in two flavours. The most expensive xStorage systems use brand new batteries, while cheaper ‘second-life’ systems use batteries that have previous been used in older generation Leafs.
And their job? It’s essentially to store cheap energy during times of high supply and low demand, and then save it for when it’s actually needed. For example, home batteries charge energy from the grid during periods of excess energy, and then release it at night, when there’s more demand. And they could also be used to charge the Nissan Leaf on your drive, too.
Nissan says it’ll sell three types of solar panel, from 275Wp to 320Wp, and they’ll all have a warranty of 25 years.
Read our pick of the best electric cars in the UK
Nissan Energy Solar: how does it work?
While it’s possible to charge home batteries via the national grid, it’s far more sustainable and cheaper in the long-run to use solar power, and that’s where Nissan Energy Solar comes in. Simply put, Nissan Energy Solar collects solar power in the day, and stores it in an xStorage home battery, ready to be used at night – or to charge your EV.
As you’d expect, sunlight can be an extremely temperamental and peaky energy source – and that’s before you factor in the fact there’s none at night and that we live in cloudy Britain – so an xStorage home battery is the final piece of the puzzle. And because it’s a Nissan ‘electromobility product’, there’s an app for it.
‘Nissan Energy Solar is a complete system for home energy generation, management and storage,’ said, Gareth Dunsmore, Nissan Europe’s electric vehicle director. 'It enables UK homeowners to make significant savings on their household electricity bills, and become champions of sustainability and green technology.'
‘More than 880,000 people in the UK already use solar panels and this fully integrated solution brings a fresh opportunity to grow this number exponentially over the coming years.’
Nissan Solar Energy: UK price and release date
Nissan says the technology is available in the UK now, and will cost £3881 with 5% VAT. That price includes a six-panel solar panel setup, along with a home energy management system, though it’s not clear which type of xStorage that includes.
Nissan Solar Energy: is it worth it?
That price may seem steep, but Nissan reckons some customers could save up to two-thirds on their energy bills. Nissan says that figure is calculated on a working family living in the south east of England, with an annual electricity demand of 4500kWh. Those headline 66% savings kick in once a 4kWp Solar PV system and 6kWh storage device are installed.
We’ll update this article when we know exactly how much such a system will cost.