Nissan Leaf Powers Up Household During Tokyo Show

The Nissan Leaf likes to give back. Not only do owners benefit from a tax credit, but the Leaf can also power up a Japanese home for two days and cut the cost of electricity bills in half.

Home Smart Charging was showcased this week during the Tokyo show, and is a new technology Nissan has been working on. A Power Control System (PCS) box takes a direct current from the Leaf, and then feeds it into the home. The Leaf’s 24kwh battery is enough to light up a Japanese home for two days, on the basis that it averages a daily energy consumption of 10 to 12kw.

How much charge a home takes from the Leaf can also specified by the user to ensure there is enough range in it in case they need to drive it somewhere, and Nissan was quick to point out that the new technology does not harm the battery life. In fact, the automaker says it puts much less strain on the battery than driving it.

The home charging system box will become available in Japan only during the summer of 2012, and will cost around 500,000 Japanese yen, which equates to roughly $6429. The box has sparked interest among companies like Hitachi, Panasonic, and Mitsubishi, and Nissan is currently in talks with governments and utility companies about making it an industry standard. There is currently no standard connection or wiring for the box.

Source: Autocar

It's a great idea to be able to power a house from the stored energy in the battery of an EV. But since the LEAF doesn't charge when it is being driven, it has to pull the power from the grid. So unless this is energy supplied from a renewable source, the net gain of powering the house from an EV is zero. In fact with the losses involved in charging and then supplying the energy from the battery, it is probably worse than powering the house straight from the grid, and the carbon dioxide emitted would be greater. I really don't see how this can halve the cost of electricity bills to a house. Only if the energy was collected from a Nissan dealer for free would this help with your electricity bill. There will be a long queue to charge your LEAF outside their dealerships! I can't see Nissan wanting to see their free charging stations being used to power people's houses. That won't last long.

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