Nissan’s electric car, The Leaf is being repositioned as a mobile charger for off-grid homes in Japan. Even grid-tied homes will be able to reduce their energy dependence via Nissan’s new Home Charging Unit will go on sale in Japan by mid-2012 the company forecast today at a car show in Tokyo.
There is a fair amount of greenwash in Nissan’s claim, but it is significant nevertheless because it is offering a way to import energy in your car, rather than have a standalone energy supply to each house with the additional infrastructure that requires. If anyone has driven in a Leaf please post your experiences in a comment.
Nissan says the average daily energy consumption in a Japanese home is around 10-12kw, so the Leaf’s 24kwh battery would offer up to two days of energy storage. Its “smart home” will also contain solar panels and fuel cells, but it was unclear whether or when this will be offered for sale.
Normally, the car charges at night to ensure it takes advantage of lower energy costs and puts less strain on the grid at peak daylight times. But that could be reversed so charging was done during the day at work or on the way home. Using a quick charger the battery can be completely replenished in 30 minutes.
A user can also specify how much charge a home takes from the car to ensure there is enough range in it to complete their next journey.
This box that connects the car to the home energy is likely to cost around 500,000 Japanese yen (which equates to about £4100) when launched, although Nissan hopes a wider uptake will drive down costs.
There is currently no standard connection or wiring for the box in Japan or elsewhere in the world. Nissan is in negotiations with governments and utility companies about making an industry standard. Firms including Hitachi, Panasonic and Mitsubishi are interested in marketing the box, Nissan told Autocar.
The new technology called Smart Home Charging will be available in Japan initially.But Nissan already sells Leafs to Europe and the USA .
The Nissan Leaf is powered by laminated compact lithium-ion batteries which generate over 90kW of power. Its electric motor delivers 80kW/280Nm. With a fully charged battery it can drive 100 miles and deliver speeds of up to 140km/h. The Leaf can be charged at home through a 200V outlet for eight hours or 30 minutes using a quick charger. It costs $32,780 but governments like the U.S. and Canada are offering incentives to bring the price down.
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