Mitsubishi Electric is developing a solar-powered charger for electric cars, one which will be able to reroute electricity from the EV’s batteries into the home in the event of a blackout. The company is looking at EVs very much as batteries-on-wheels and as an alternative power source to fixed storage systems.
The charger, which is being developed together with Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors, is expected to go on sale in Japan next year, priced above 500,000 yen, the Nikkei reports. It will be the first system with such a capability to be sold domestically, and will work with both MMC’s i-MiEV and the Nissan Leaf.
According to the company, since EV batteries are able to store more electricity than current home-based ones, an EV hooked up to the charger – when utilised with separately installed solar panels – will be able to power a typical home for up to a week.
For example, the Leaf – which will begin selling in Malaysia soon – has a capacity of 24 kwh, far higher than residential battery systems in place now. The new charging system will also offer a cost effective solution (provided one has an EV in the first place, of course) – a residential unit with the capacity needed to supply an average home’s daily power needs (around 10 kwh) goes for two to three million yen.