Nissan has showcased clever new technology that will allow a Nissan Leaf to power a household on its own for up to two days. The new technology, known as Home Smart Charging, will be available in Japan from as early as summer 2012.
The technology, highlighted on the eve of the Tokyo motor show, is designed to reduce the impact of electric cars on the national grid and reduce the electricity bills of a household by up to 50 per cent. It will also help provide power to a house in the event of a power cut.
The Leaf is connected to a household through a Power Control System (PCS) box. This takes direct current from the Leaf and feeds alternating current into the property. 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.
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. 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 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 claims.
Nissan has also dismissed concerns that the technology could harm the battery life of a Leaf. The firm says that the home charging system is a static operation that puts much less strain on the battery than the constant acceleration and deceleration during driving puts on it.