TOKYO – Nissan launched here what it calls its “Leaf-to-home” power supply system, designed to turn Nissan’s electric vehicle Leaf into a backup electricity supply for residential homes.
The “Leaf-to-home” system, scheduled to go on sale in mid-June at Nissan dealerships in Japan, makes Leaf the first electric vehicle that can be used to curb power drawn from the grid during peak consumption hours in Japan, according to Nissan.
The EV Power Supply System developed by Nichicon is a two-way charger capable of both fully charging Nissan’s EV, Leaf, in just four hours (half the time of an ordinary charger) and also supplying a home’s electricity distribution panel from a Leaf’s high-capacity batteries.
When fully-charged, the lithium-ion batteries in a Leaf store up to 24kWh of electricity. That’s more than enough to power the average Japanese household for two full days, according to the Japanese auto maker.
In addition, the EV Power Station can charge the Leaf in just four hours – about half the time of a normal charger.
Nissan plans to sell 10,000 Leaf-to-home units during the fiscal year. With Japanese government subsidies in place it costs around 330,000 yen ($4,153).
Nissan is boasting that the system can come to a household’s rescue in a blackout or other emergency. In Japan today, fear of blackouts haunts every community since the earthquake and tsunami in 2011.
With the nation’s nuclear power plants now shut down since early May, Japan is abuzz with anxiety about an anticipated summer power crunch. For the first time in more than 40 years, Japan will derive no energy from atomic power. Until last year, nuclear energy represented 30% of Japanese power consumption.
However, even without nukes, the power shortage might not happen. The latest news now suggests that Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda may give a formal order to restart two nuclear reactors at the Oi plant in western Japan next week. It would then take two or three weeks to get each one up and running, according to reports here.
EV power station specification
<When charging Nissan Leafs> <When supplying power to households>