Nissan and electricity distribution company Northern Powergrid have announced that they have signed an agreement that will see them co-operate over the next six years on a series of innovation projects to explore how electric vehicles (EVs), batteries, and smart technologies can support energy networks.

Many experts warn that one of the biggest barriers to mass adoption of electric vehicles is likely to be the challenge to the ability of the grid to cope with new patterns of power demand.

Nissan and Northern Powergrid will explore how new technologies can enhance the capacity, capability and resilience of the northern region’s power network to make it more active and responsive to the growing and changing demands of both domestic and commercial customers.

Northern Powergrid is also expected to support Nissan’s Intelligent Mobility blueprint, which aims to show how EVs can work in conjunction with the grid through so-called vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technologies to better manage peaks and troughs in supply and demand.

Jim Cardwell, head of trading and innovation at Northern Powergrid, said: “Building on what we are already doing around innovation projects, this signals the start of a ground-breaking industry partnership to explore new innovations that could support the creation of smarter, greener energy networks and help shape future technologies to support the efficient roll-out of electric vehicles.”

Patrick Erwin, policy and markets director at Northern Powergrid, said: “By bringing together our expertise we will help the region - as part of the Northern Powerhouse - play a leading role in exploring innovation and technological advances that could potentially benefit future generations, communities, businesses and industries both in and outside of the UK.”