Mitsubishi’s power package lets cars charge homes

Mitsubishi´s Plug-in Hybrid is more than just an electric car, it’s an energy station on wheels that helps homeowners and public institutions cope with power outages.

Vehicle to Home is the name of the concept, which will also be used in Europe from 2020. Mitsubishi Motors intends to offer its plug-in hybrid cars in Europe and Australia in one package from 2020, together with a home storage unit, a photovoltaic system and a wallbox for charging the vehicle.

In Japan, this has already been possible since 3 October. Anyone who orders a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV can book a Smart Home package at monthly installments between the equivalent of 45 and 60 Euros. The leasing contract has a term of ten years and also includes the supply of electricity by an energy supplier for times when there is not enough solar power available.

Dendo Drive House

In Japan, the car manufacturer is making a contribution to disaster protection with the so-called intelligent and largely self-sufficient “Dendo Drive House.” Power outages following natural disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes are not uncommon here.

With the help of the energy stored in the batteries, electric cars and plug-in hybrids were able to implement an emergency power supply. Converted into rolling power stations, they fed their electricity into the network of residential complexes and hospitals. With the energy content of an Outlander battery, the power supply of a (small) detached house is secured for up to ten days.

Nissan field trials

Other car manufacturers, like Nissan, are following suit. In January, the company is planning to launch a field trial in Germany under the name i-rEzEPT (“intelligente rückspeisefähige Elektrofahrzeuge zur Eigenstrommaximierung und Primärregelleistungsmarkt-Teilnahme”) together with two Fraunhofer Institutes and Bosch.

Homeowners with a photovoltaic system will receive a home storage unit and a wallbox from the car manufacturer and are also allowed to test a Nissan Leaf (for a monthly fee of 100 euros for one year). The project, sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, aims to investigate the extent to which “regenerative” electric vehicles can contribute to stabilizing public and private electricity grids.

Image credit: Mitsubishi Motors

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