Nissan Motor has begun testing a new system to store solar power in the same type of lithium-ion batteries used in its Leaf electric vehicle in a bid to use solar energy to recharge its EVs.

The automaker set up the trial system at its headquarters in Yokohama, storing electricity generated from solar cells with a maximum power output capacity of 40 kilowatts into batteries needed to run four Leaf vehicles.

The system also allows recharging during the night or in rainy weather when solar power cannot be generated and is capable of storing electricity that could fully recharge the Leaf 1,800 times annually, Nissan said.

If the system generates more power than needed to recharge electric cars, the excess power will be used for lights and other facilities in the automaker’s headquarters, company officials told Kyodo News.

Amid the growing popularity of electric vehicles, Nissan has been considering ways to reuse spent batteries of such cars as rechargeable batteries at residences and company facilities, they said.

The carmaker plans to start test marketing small-scale solar power storage and recharge systems for households in December, the officials added.