Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. and the Super City AiCT Consortium (hereinafter AiCT Consortium) today entered a collaboration agreement aimed at carbon neutrality in Smart City Aizuwakamatsu in Fukushima Prefecture. The two parties will jointly explore large-scale energy management centered on EVs, methods for utilizing renewable energy, new ways of owning EVs and carry out long-term field tests to enable Aizuwakamatsu to become a beautiful, decarbonized city that represents a resilient Japan.
Starting next April, solar panels will be installed at the Smart City AiCT office building that houses AiCT Consortium member companies. Smart City AiCT will also serve as a renewable energy storage facility and a system consisting of five Nissan Ariya EVs will be studied.
The effectiveness of energy businesses utilizing EVs will be verified by supplying the Smart City AiCT building with electricity from the Ariyas, which will be charged via solar power. The aim is to improve the utilization of renewable energy and reduce the building’s power costs. Compatibility with mobility businesses that utilize these EVs will also be examined.
The project will use AI to predict EV usage and battery status in Aizuwakamatsu City, and together with renewable energy power generation forecasts it aims to verify regional energy utilization optimizations.
In the long term, each consumer (including offices, stores, factories and houses) will use peer-to-peer transactions to trade electricity surpluses and shortfalls. The project will also include field tests to promote local production of energy for local consumption.
Based on the results, a mechanism will be created to promote changes in resident behavior. By maintaining a balance between mobility and energy, this mechanism will lead to the creation of more profitable and sustainable businesses.
Nissan launched the LEAF, the world’s first mass-market EV, in 2010. Since then, Nissan has continued to provide the new value and excitement that are unique to EVs.
Nissan has been promoting the Blue Switch project, which uses EVs to electrify Japan, since May 2018. Together with local governments, companies and dealerships nationwide, the Blue Switch project aims to solve regional issues related to the environment, disaster prevention, energy management, tourism and depopulation.
Nissan has announced that every all-new model launched in key markets will be electrified by the early 2030s. While continuing to take a leading position in electrification, Nissan is accelerating its efforts to achieve sustainable development goals and achieve carbon neutrality.
The AiCT Consortium was established in 2021 to actualize a citizen-centric super city through opt-in data utilization and personalization. The foundation of this consortium is the Great East Japan Earthquake reconstruction project, which started in 2011 as a collaboration between Accenture, Aizuwakamatsu City and the University of Aizu.
Based on the knowledge, platform and network that have been cultivated in Aizuwakamatsu City over the past decade, the AiCT Consortium aims to develop a standard smart city model for Japan and expand it across the nation.
The key to realizing a sustainable society while strengthening Japan’s international competitiveness is the independence and growth of local regions, and the use of digital technologies is indispensable for this. Aizuwakamatsu’s smart city model is now recognized as Japan’s ideal smart city model, attracting approximately 70 member companies, including Nissan and Accenture, who are collaborating in ways that transcend organizational boundaries.
In 2015, Aizu Wakamatsu City, with Accenture’s support, introduced a smart city operating system (OS) to serve as digital infrastructure for smart cities. With the smart city OS at the core, a wide variety of smart city services — including mobility, energy, tourism, disaster prevention and payments — are being developed and operated by the AiCT Consortium companies.
Agreeing with the AiCT Consortium’s citizen-centric smart city concept, Nissan joined the AiCT Consortium in August 2021. Nissan expects to engage in wide-ranging collaborations with many other like-minded companies in the consortium.
Nissan and the Super City AiCT Consortium see these initiatives as a model for other cities. In the future they will strengthen their cooperation with a view toward expanding nationwide and contributing to the achievement of carbon neutrality in Japan.