The burgeoning electric vehicle (EV) industry is helping industry giants make new friends and share! No, were not talking some corporate play date, we’re talking high-level strategic partnerships where our transportation future is plotted.
General Electric and Nissan recently announced they are embarking on a ewtwo-year research and development collaboration to speed up the creation of a reliable charging infrastructure for electric vehicles and to increase the adoption of electric cars. This partnership makes sense for Nissan due to its increasing commitment to EVs like the Leaf. For GE, which generates or distributes more than 25 percent of the world’s electricity, the partnership is a recognition of the increasing role EVs are likely to play in the world’s energy budget.
The partnership will focus on two specific areas if interest for the companies. First, the agreement will explore how to better integrate EVs with homes and buildings. Secondly, the companies will look at electric vehicle charging dynamics and the future impact on the grid once millions of electric cars are on the road.
Several projects around the two focus areas already are under way. In one project, researchers from the companies are studying how electric cars like Nissan Leaf can be incorporated into GE’s overall concept for a Smart Home. Nissan engineers are developing methods to connect the vehicle to the home, making it a more integrated part of the building’s energy equipment. This project will look at how the addition of an electric car impacts the cost of electricity and changes overall home electricity loads. In another study, researchers will use aggregate usage data, along with sophisticated simulation and modeling experiments, to analyze the effect millions of electric cars could have on our electrical distribution system.