Nissan UN-Namibia partnership to create ‘vehicle to grid’ project in Africa

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Nissan donated two Nissan LEAF vehicles to the United Nations Development Programme in Namibia. The donation will showcase the impact electric mobility will have to the sustainable development goals and to quality of life in Southern Africa.

The UN Namibia agency will innovate in the area of mobility and energy with an advanced Vehicle-to-Grid Integration (VGI) project in Africa. Mobility and energy are fundamentals to address two of the three focus areas of the UNDP – climate change and inequality.

The vehicles will primarily be used to transport employees, emission free, to meetings and workshops as well as run errands around the city. The electric vehicles support the overall system in creating resilient energy supply. In the evenings specifically, the vehicles will serve as a power source replacing more expensive energy from the grid. Also, if the grid goes down, the vehicles will provide a backup power supply for primary appliances such as lighting, communication equipment as well as lower priority functions such as refrigeration or air-conditioning.

“Nissan is committed to the sustainable development goals,” said Wonga Mesatywa, Nissan South Africa Executive Director of Corporate Affairs. “We shape our corporate strategy around them to ensure our organisation is aligned to moving our country, region and world forward, bettering people and society. As such, partnering with the UNDP to contribute to essentials such as mobility and energy in underdeveloped markets is something that is bigger than us and that we are truly proud of.”

“We expect to raise a lot of awareness about electric vehicles and the benefits thereof. Our hope is that this project will influence people’s choices to reduce their carbon footprint,” says Ms. Alka Bhatia, UNDP Resident Representative.

This is not the only exciting partnership that Nissan has with the UNDP. It also recently partnered with the organisation on the very first Electric Vehicle Road Trip across South Africa. This journey saw various industry players participate as they journeyed from Johannesburg to Cape Town solely on electric power to showcase the capabilities of the vehicle and highlight key sustainability messaging along the way.

Locally, Nissan is also working with Filadelfia School in the community of Soshanguve to improve its access to reliable electricity and increase its use of renewable energy. The school will suffer less from load shedding and unscheduled power cuts as a result of the innovative Nissan Energy solution.  

Filadelfia School in Pretoria, which caters to disabled students with a variety of needs, has received Nissan Energy, equipping the school with a functioning back-up solution during power outages and periods of load shedding.

Nissan Energy is an innovative and flexible solution which combines second life Nissan LEAF batteries and solar panels to generate sustainable power. TurnKey Energy provided the solar panels, as well as labour and materials for installation as part of their social responsibility initiatives.

“We are excited for a continued partnership with the UNDP as these projects have the potential to be replicated in a number of ways to foster change in our world,” concludes Mesetywa.