Nissan tests green recharging plan

The use of solar power to recharge electric vehicles is being tested by car maker Nissan as part of its overall plans to improve electricity storage systems.

Tests are being conducted by the Japanese firm on its Leaf model, which was launched in 2010 and uses lithium-ion batteries.

Nissan's Leaf is among a number of new electric cars being brought to the market that offer drivers a chance to save money on fuel consumption and tax - freeing up more cash to cover essential motoring items such ascar insurance andbreakdown cover.

And the car manufacturer has recognised that once the product becomes more popular, there could be huge numbers of used batteries - as the life span of an electric vehicle is shorter than a battery.

So it is now planning ahead to five years time, when there may be alternative opportunities to use the batteries as a storage place for electricity.

A demonstration of the newly-developed charging system saw the generation of electricity through 488 solar cells, which have been mounted on the roof of Nissan's headquarters in Yokohama, south west of Tokyo.

The electricity was stored in four leaf batteries, which had been place in a box in a part of the building.

Nissan has claimed that the electricity stored is enough th fully charge 1,800 Leaf cars a year.

And once the Leaf is ready to be discarded, the battery is likely to still have a capacity level of 80%, Nissan said.

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