Smart Charging for Electric Vehicles

The two companies signed a three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to explore new technologies that are needed to build a reliable, dynamic smart-charging infrastructure.

The MOU brings together two companies with expertise in the most critical elements needed to make smart charging work. GE is a world leader in the energy sector, with a customer base that cuts across the entire electric grid network. Nissan is one of the world’s top automakers and a leader in electric vehicles. The all-electric, zero-emission Nissan LEAF is scheduled to launch later this year in Japan, the United States and Europe.

"In the past few years, we have seen an acceleration of innovations in plug-in hybrid and electric cars that have sparked a revolution in smart-charging technologies," said Mark Little, senior vice president and director, GE Global Research. "Together with Nissan, we will take a comprehensive look at what technologies will be needed in the car, on the grid and at home or work to make smart charging a reality."

"Nissan’s vision is to realize zero-emission mobility through a holistic approach by collaborating with various partners in a broad range of industries," said Shunichi Toyomasu, corporate vice president, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. "Working with GE, we expect this joint research project will provide insight for the home/building and electric grid connections which supports electric vehicle."

GE and Nissan have outlined two key areas for potential collaborations. The first relates to the integration of electric vehicles with homes and buildings. The second focuses on electric vehicle charging dynamics with the larger electric grid. In coming months, GE and Nissan will work to identify specific projects they can partner on in each of these areas.

Much of the GE work will be conducted at GE’s global research operations located in Niskayuna, New York, where the latest electric transportation research and smart grid technology will facilitate the collaboration. Nissan will participate mainly through it Nissan Technical Center North America, located in Farmington Hills, Michigan, with support by the Nissan Advanced Technology Center in Japan.

GE Global Research is the hub of technology development for all of GE’s businesses. GE scientists and engineers redefine what’s possible, drive growth for their businesses and find answers to some of the world’s toughest problems.

Nissan Motor Company is a global automotive company that sold 3.36 million vehicles in 2009. Nissan is present in all major auto markets worldwide, selling a comprehensive range of cars, pickup trucks, SUVs and light commercial vehicles under the Nissan and Infiniti brands.

The Nissan Advanced Technology Center (NATC) is Nissan’s state-of-the-art R&D facility, located in Kanagawa prefecture, Japan. NATC spearheads innovations in environmental and safety technologies, allowing Nissan’s vehicle development engineers to work more effectively in one centralized facility, which includes an Advanced Vehicle Lab and Electric Powertrain Lab.

Nissan has two other major facilities based in the Kanagawa Prefecture for product planning, R&D and advanced development — the Nissan Technical Center (NTC) in Atsugi and Nissan Research Center (NRC) in Yokosuka.