Nissan car could double as home generator

Japanese auto producer Nissan is intending to develop a new feature for its eco-friendly Leaf car. They want it to be used as a disaster house generator. The Japanese vehicle producer is developing the engineering as it simultaneously attempts to gear back up to full production after the nation was devastated by severe natural disasters in March. Purchasing one will cost personal loans because of the high cost.

Car runs only on electricity

The Leaf went on sale last December. Battery energy is the only thing utilized to make the automobile run making it fully electric. The Chevrolet Volt and other eco-friendly automobiles are typically hybrid cars. A gas-powered generator is used to back up batteries. It costs about $37,000 for a Leaf, or 2.98 million yen, while using a high-performance, 24 kWh lithium-ion batteries.

Backup generator?

Nissan Motors president Carlos Ghosn reported that the vehicle maker is working to equip its Leaf EVs (Electronic Cars) with the engineering to feed power into private houses. In just a year, the company wants to have new vehicles in showrooms.

More interest has been put to the car considering the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Hideaki Watanabe, head of Nissan’s zero-emissions automobiles, explained “Some people are saying that rather than installing a generator, they would just buy a Leaf.” In Japan, you are able to get a household storage battery similar to the Leaf for about 2 million yen, or $25,000.

The Leaf is able to store as much as 24 kilowatt hours. The U.S. home on average can run for a whole day on that much energy. The car could charge the home’s energy overnight if there were an emergency of some sort.

Not seeing charge units around

Hopefully, Nissan can effortlessly industry the home-powering automobiles. It hopes to not have to put new hardware in to do this. One option, according to Watanabe, is to connect the car to the house via Nissan’s quick-charge unit, which restores about 80 percent energy in 30 minutes. With a normal outlet, charging the car takes a whole day. It would take about 20 hours to do so. Right now, only Japan sells the quick-charge units. They cost about $15,000 to purchase one. Hopefully, that cost can be dropped to $10,000, Watanabe says.

Plant opening not about to take place

There are about 2,000 Leaf automobiles in the U.S. That is of the 7,600 Leafs that have sold. Manufacturing slowed with the Japan disasters though. That means the Smyrna, Tenn., production plant was unable to open. That opening has now been tentatively pushed back to late next year. “Because of the earthquake, it’s putting us in a difficult situation,” Watanabe explained. “But we’re not giving up yet,” he explained.

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