Nissan has revealed a concept car designed to bring vital electricity to disaster-struck areas, based on the fully-electric Leaf hatchback.
Called the Re-Leaf, the car can be driven into areas experiencing a power outage, allowing its batteries to be used as an electricity source.
Using the car as a mobile battery pack, the concept allows immediate deployment of a power source, without the noise and emissions constraints of traditional petrol or diesel generators – particularly useful when emergency workers are needing to listen out for calls of help.
Nissan says the 62kWh battery in the Leaf e+ can provide enough electricity to power an average European home for nearly a week.
In a disaster scenario, however, the Re-Leaf can simultaneously power an electric jack hammer, a pressure ventilation fan, a 10-litre pot belly soup kettle, an intensive care ventilator, and a 100w LED flood light – all for 24 hours.
It does this via a number of weatherproof plug sockets mounted to the outside of the car, and its bi-directional power flow capability.
While particularly useful in an emergency situation, the technology can be used as a store of electricity for homes and the power grid, with a concept called Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G).
The idea of using the Nissan Leaf as a mobile power source isn't just a concept. The cars have been used to provide power to areas without electricity for nearly a decade, as well as providing transport in areas where petrol stations were inoperable.