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Old 06-15-2011, 10:50 PM   #1
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Post Nissan Motors developing an electric car that powers homes

Nissan is trying to make its eco-friendly vehicle, the Leaf, also work as an emergency house energy generator. The Japanese car manufacturer is creating the engineering as it simultaneously tries to gear back up to full manufacturing after the country was ruined by severe natural disasters in March.

Auto totally electric

The Leaf went on sale last Dec.. Battery power is the only thing used to make the auto run making it fully electric. The Chevrolet Volt and other eco-friendly vehicles are typically hybrid cars. A gas-powered generator is utilized to back up batteries. It costs about $37,000 for a Leaf, or 2.98 million yen, while using a high-performance, 24 kWh lithium-ion batteries.

Use the leaf to generate energy

Carlos Ghosn is the Nissan Motors president that states Leaf EVs (Electronic Vehicles) will have new engineering put in them. They will be able to put energy into private homes. Showrooms with new vehicles should happen fairly soon. The company hopes to have these out in the near future.

Japan's tsunami and earthquake destruction got several interested in the car. Individuals want something like this for emergencies. Hideaki Watanabe, head of Nissan's zero-emissions automobiles, explained "Some individuals are saying that rather than installing a generator, they would just purchase a Leaf." Household storage batteries with capacity comparable to that of the Leaf currently sell for about 2 million yen, about $25,000 United States, in Japan.

The average house can run for 24 hours in the United States with 24 kilowatt hours, which the Leaf can supposedly store. Any kind of disaster would lead to needing the car's energy. It could keep the home powered overnight for sure.

Not seeing charge units around

Without additional hardware, Nissan hopes to market home-powering automobiles. Nissan's quick-charge unit can, in just 30 minutes, restore 80 percent of power which Watanabe thinks can be a way to connect it to the house. Charging the auto could take 20 hours for a normal outlet. It costs about $15,000 to buy the quick charger which is only accessible in Japan currently. Watanabe hopes to get that cost down to about $10,000.

Changing plant opening

Of the 7,600 Leafs that have been sold so far, United States auto owners bought about 2,000. Manufacturing slowed with the Japan disasters though. That means the Smyrna, Tenn., production plant was unable to open. It may be late next year before the opening happens. "Because of the earthquake, it's putting us in a difficult situation," Watanabe explained. "But we're not giving up yet," he said.

Information from

Auto News

Business Link Japan

Detroit Free Press|topnews|text|Auto news

sherlyB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2011, 09:21 AM   #2
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Re: Nissan Motors developing an electric car that powers homes

The idea isn't new. There is at least one aftermarket plug-in Prius being used this way. There are also some concepts, maybe even experimental programs, for using plugged EVs to power for peak demand. Vehicle to grid I think they're called.
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