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Nissan LEAFs Power Office Buildings in Japan

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Nissan LEAFs power office buildings

2013 Nissan Leaf

How many LEAFs does it take to power an office building? What a smart question. The answer: six. (Now if only we could figure out how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop, we could just call it a day.)

No, we’re serious. Over in Japan, Nissan is testing out its “Vehicle-to-Building” system, in which electric cars can provide power to an office building at peak hours, or when power is most expensive. Then, when grid prices drop, the building will recharge the electric vehicles in time for the office workers to have a nice, fully charged trip home.

So is this seemingly complex process in which Nissan LEAFs power office buildings actually paying off? Well, Nissan started the testing back in July, and through these tests, the automaker has determined that electricity at the peak hour is reduced by 2.5 percent. Doesn’t sound like much, you say? Over a year, it would save roughly 500,000 yen, or nearly $5,000. That could definitely buy an office some new paper shredders or a copier or two—or one super awesome Christmas party that no one will ever forget.

But it’s not just business owners that should be rejoicing. Nissan is also developing a “LEAF-to-Home” system that could serve a couple of purposes for residential homeowners. Just like they do for the office buildings, LEAFs could reduce energy consumption at peak hours, but not only that; LEAF owners could also rely on their vehicles in case of a power outage. Do you know what that means? No more throwing away unhardened fish sticks from your powerless freezer—hurray!