Science

Nissan Walks in the Footsteps of Tesla with Solar Panels

Credit: Nissan Global

Nissan Energy Solar has set its eyes on the United Kingdom for its solar power initiative.

It sounds a bit redundant to use the United Kingdom to kick off a solar power business, but it’s not as strange as you might think – in spite of the well-known English weather, solar panels work well in the UK.

The panels can still receive and conserve energy even with indirect sunlight. The country’s northern position also adds up for 16 hours of daytime during the summer.

In the UK, there’s nearly a million people who already use solar panels, so the market is there and the consumers are willing.

Nissan not only equips the customers with roof-mounted panels, but they also get a battery to store some of the electricity they generate. If it so happens that the customers drive a Leaf, the company’s next auto flagship, they can combine the process and drive all across the country without a worry.

Perhaps all this sounds a bit like something you heard before, and that’s because you have – Tesla offers, at the moment, an entire bundle of clean energy stack which includes roof panels, a Powerwall home battery and, you guessed it, a car.

Nissan announced that its all-inclusive system will start at $5,200 for six solar panels, or $10,300 for the panels and a 4 kWh battery, with the installation included.

On the other hand, Tesla’s powerwall costs $5,900 and can store 13.5 kWh, but keep in mind that the installation is extra.

Nissan’s customers also have the option of choosing between a new battery or a ‘second life’ pack made from cells that have been withdrawn from electric vehicles but are alright to use for daily storage, which is less taxing than running a vehicle.

Nissan is also toying with the idea of using large batteries in electric cars as well (40 kWh in the Leaf), in order to power homes.

Automotive companies are eager to jump on the green train to push up their credentials when it comes to their carbon footprint, and pushing themselves into the power supply business will not hurt in the long run.

Nissan is not the first automotive company to jump into the solar power business – Mercedes-Benz tried it once, but the scale of the project was too big, with too many hurdles. Nissan though, seems stubborn enough to stick to it.

For the time being, Nissan’s scheme is available in the UK only.

 

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