Nissan and GE Join Forces to Research Electric Vehicle Technologies

Posted: April 27, 2010

The next chapter in the electric car revolution is quickly unfolding. Hot on the heels of opening reservations for the Leaf, the first all-electric vehicle, Nissan has announced a partnership with General Electric (GE). The two companies have agreed on a three-year Memorandum of Understanding to explore new electric vehicle (EV) technologies.

According to Kicking Tires, the partnership “will focus on how to develop the smart-charging infrastructure that will allow consumers to charge EVs and plug-ins both at home and on the road.”

The partnership will research two major areas. The Business Review explains: “The first focuses on how electric vehicles integrate with homes and buildings; the second will look at the overall impact that electric-vehicle charging will have on the electric grid.”

CNET elaborates on the challenges the partnership will tackle, which include “equipping homes with the appropriate wiring for car charging, administering low-cost metering plans from utilities, and managing car cables so people don't trip over them.”

The partnership’s research is expected to begin in June. MarketWatch says GE’s 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’s work will take place at the “Nissan Technical Center North America, located in Farmington Hills, Michigan, with support by the Nissan Advanced Technology Center in Japan.”

Meanwhile, buyers are showing plenty of interest in the new Leaf electric vehicle. Though it just became available for reservations last week, Nissan has already collected 6,635 reservations, according to Left Lane News. Reservations require a $99 fee. The current reservation process is open only to people who previously expressed interest in the Leaf by signing up online. It will open to everyone else on May 15.

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