A Leaf-powered Christmas tree.
With vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology, electric vehicles can be more useful than simple means of transportation. We've already seen a Rivian R1T used to perform surgery during a power outage and the F-150 Lightning power homes during a Texas cold front. Now Nissan UK is using EVs for a more festive purpose, powering a Christmas tree and lights.
To celebrate the 250,000th 2023 Nissan Leaf to roll off the assembly line at Nissan's Sunderland Plant (and decorate for the holidays), the automaker set up a lighting display outside its UK factory. The 32-foot Christmas tree and light-up reindeer are both powered by the Leaf's V2X (or V2X-MAS Tree) feature.
"Passing a quarter of a million Nissan Leaf is a tremendous milestone, and demonstrates the electric vehicle manufacturing expertise we have built up at our plant over the past decade," said Alan Johnson, Vice President Manufacturing at Nissan Sunderland Plant. "This year we have completely electrified the plant's line-up with the new versions of Qashqai and Juke launched, so lighting up the Christmas tree with our original EV is a spectacular and appropriate way to end 2022."
The 250,000 unit figure doesn't even count Leaf production at Nissan's Smyrna plant in Tennessee, which has built around 180,000 cars to-date.
The Leaf was among the first mainstream EVs to offer vehicle-to-everything(V2X) technology, allowing it to store energy that could later be given back to the grid. With skeptics still warning that the electrical grid can't handle an influx of new EVs, V2G technology could help ensure that there is enough energy to go around during high use periods. While Nissan has already proven that this technology is viable, other automakers like Toyota are conducting more research to see how it can be used in the future.
For now, Leaf owners can save a bit on their electricity bill by using their car to power their holiday decorations.