This in from Japan – Tokyo-based environmental venture Smart Energy has developed a lithium ion rechargeable battery for households called the Veus, which can also be used to power a hybrid vehicle, in this case the Toyota Prius.

According to a report, the company is set to begin selling the Veus (Vital Energy Un-blackout System) batteries from this month, with a goal to sell 100 units a month, or 1,000 by the end of this year. Primary sales deployment will be in the metropolitan area of Tokyo, where electricity shortages are expected this summer.

The Veus batteries – which will be produced by domestic electronics manufacturer CNO Corp on an OEM basis – will be available in two model forms, a 4 kwh model priced at 945,000 yen and a 8 kwh version at 1.89 million yen.

At home, the Veus can be used to store electricity generated from such renewable sources as sunlight. The 8 kwh version is able to power a 1.2 kw air conditioner for six to seven hours on a full charge.

Beyond the home application front, the Veus comes in handy in emergencies – in areas where power lines are severed by earthquakes or other disasters, it can be used for commercial and public purposes such as operating medical equipment at hospitals and running water pumps in condominiums.

And as for automotive applications, the Veus has been designed to fit in the rear of the Prius – working as a backup power source, a fully-charged 8 kwh unit (which weighs 150kg, so it doesn’t sound like a light job!) offers 60-100 km of travel range.