Nissan's LEAF-to-Home System Could Power a House for Two Days
In a recent demonstration at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show, Nissan showed how the LEAF electric car could power an entire home by being connected to a power control system that's hooked up to the home's electrical system.
The automaker's so-called Smart Home Charging technology is designed to encourage consumers to use a Nissan LEAF to reduce load on the electric grid during peak hours. The idea is simple: Basically, owners charge up their LEAF during low load times and then use the LEAF's 24-kWh battery pack to power their homes during peak hours. For example, LEAF owners charge their vehicle overnight and then utilize some of that stored energy to power their home—essentially powering items like a toaster in the morning or their television in the evening from their car's battery pack.
In the demonstration, the LEAF powered Nissan's specially-designed Smart House, but the automaker is confident that the technology could be used with existing homes. Nissan says that in March 2012 the power control system box will go on sale in Japan at a price of approximately $6,200. According to Nissan, the LEAF's 24-kWh battery pack could power a typical Japanese home for two full days.
Nissan says that in order for the system to work properly, homes must be equipped with smart meters, a requirement that could limit growth of the technology. Nonetheless, Nissan believes that its LEAF-to-home system will gain popularity within the next five years. That forecast coincides with the vehicle-to-grid forecast from Pike Research—a US-based clean tech analyst firm—which says that globally by 2017, approximately 90,000 light-duty vehicles and an additional 1,500 medium/heavy duty trucks will be enabled with V2G technologies.
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