E.ON and Nissan have announced a strategic partnership aimed at cooperating in the fields of electric vehicle charging infrastructure, grid integration and decentralized, renewable energy projects.

The cooperation has already been started in Denmark and will be expanded to other European countries soon, E.ON said on Tuesday.

The announcement was made at the Geneva Motor Show to explore opportunities for pilot projects and joint customer offerings. The focus is on the charging of electric vehicles, the integration of the charging infrastructure into the power grid and decentralized energy generation and storage.

Nissan is currently developing a comprehensive electric ecosystem around the vehicle for consumers and businesses, while E.ON integrates electric mobility into the energy system so that e-car drivers can freely and independently use their vehicles anywhere.

The partners have already started the cooperation in Denmark. There, every buyer of an electric Nissan Leaf receives a complete package, consisting of a charging station for the home and an energy flat rate for charging the battery.

In addition, Nissan and E.ON want to combine charging infrastructure and advanced bi-directional charging technology to help customers optimize their energy consumption and costs. E.ON’s extensive experience in solar and storage solutions for homeowners will also enable partners to provide Nissan customers with renewable energy solutions that also reduce their energy costs.

Markus Nitschke, spokesperson for E.ON explained to Power Engineering International, what bi-directional charging technology involves and how long has it taken to perfect that process.

“The technological side is more or less a battery issue driven by Nissan. The E.ON grid is fed by wind, solar or batteries as well as our E.ON SolarCloud. We are interested in, for example, combining all car batteries into one virtual source to work with as energy via our virtual power plant. If the grid is short of energy we would have another backbone. If the opposite is the case, we could feed cheaply to avoid negative power prices.”

One critisicm of electric vehicles has been that fossil power plants will have to be used in order to deal with the massive demands made on the power system by mass vehicle charging. However does this system, and the use of decentralized renewable energy produce a viable alternative?

“Today in Germany one third of power consumption is supplied by renewables,” says Nitschke. “This number is growing. The growth of e-mobility and renewables can match in all markets. The energy supplier can make sure via certificates that they provide green energy. E-Mobility without green energy won’t work with the target group of e-car driver. The will increase the demand for renewable energy.”

Paul Willcox, Chairman of Nissan Europe, said: “We are on a mission to overcome any barrier to electric vehicle ownership, and the exciting partnership with E.ON is another step in this direction Automobile partner for energy services, with the ultimate goal of providing our customers with free electricity for their e-cars. “

Karsten Wildberger, E.ON’s Chief Operating Officer, said the partnership between Nissan and E.ON ‘is guided by our ambition to make the electric car independent, dedicated to providing our customers with innovative, integrated and sustainable energy products and services.’