The company’s latest white paper, released as part of the European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities (EIP-SCC), which is supported by the European Commission, recommends ways to increase EV sales, as well as ways of ensuring the batteries have a “second life” after use in vehicles. The paper also looks at ways of increasing infrastructure to make electric cars more convenient for drivers.
Topping the list of proposals is the introduction of incentives for electric vehicle buyers and owners, while low-emission zones designed to encourage drivers in urban areas out of internal combustion-powered cars came close behind. The paper also recommended that governments lead from the front by using EVs on their fleets.
Furthermore, the paper suggests simplifying procedures for the installation of smart charging systems that allow cars to charge when the demand on the grid is low and introducing tax incentives based on a vehicle’s environmental impact and the amount of energy it sends back to the grid through vehicle-to-grid (V2G) charging. In addition, the paper recommends mandatory or incentivised installation of renewable and energy efficiency technologies, as well as smart charging points, in new commercial buildings, as well as integrating electric vehicle ownership with solar panels and energy storage in the home.
In essence, the company says governments must integrate their mobility and energy policies, rather than dealing with the two facets of the economy in isolation.
Cynics might suggest the move is simply a plea to governments to help Nissan increase sales of its battery-electric vehicles, but the company insists the white paper serves to help Europe “achieve its goal” of becoming carbon-neutral by 2050. The firm points out that the publication has been launched in front of policymakers at the Smart Cities Expo World Congress in Barcelona, and has been endorsed by a number of “influential associations”.
"To meet the challenges Europe faces we need a fundamental rethink on how mobility and energy policies are designed,” said Friederike Kienitz, Nissan Europe’s vice-president for communications, legal, external & government affairs. “While Nissan brought mass battery technology to Europe when it pioneered the Nissan Leaf 10 years ago, it is clear from this paper that this is about more than just Nissan or electric vehicles.
“There is much work to be done if Europe is to achieve its goal of being carbon neutral by 2050 and this white paper sets out how to get there at the national, regional and municipal level."