Apart from zero emissions, the Nissan Leaf EV can provide power supply to a house in case of an emergency, claims the Japanese automaker.
According to Nissan, the car can power a house for up to four days. The company says that in Japan, electric vehicles, including the Leaf EV, have showcased their utility in times of crises.
Within three months of the launch of the first-generation Leaf, the north-eastern coast of Japan was struck by an earthquake and lashed by giant waves generated by tsunami in March 2011, recalled Ryusuke Hayashi, senior manager of EV operations, Nissan.
Following this, 4.8 million households were in dark and Nissan provided 66 Leafs to supply power to the disaster-struck area, he said.
The Nissan Leaf EV is equipped with vehicle-to-everything technology or V2X. This technology allows electric vehicles to not only receive power from the grid but also send it back to the grid. This power can be used at homes, business or even different electronic devices.
Hayashi recalled that it was medical professionals who approached the company first seeking its help during the disaster. They wanted to know if the battery in the vehicle can be used for heating during the chilly March weather and other purposes. That experience encouraged Nissan to prioritise vehicle-to-everything development.
Using the V2X technology, Nissan Leaf e+ with a fully-charged 62 kWh battery pack can provide enough electricity to power an average Japanese home for four days. Also, it could charge 6,200 smartphones or power more than 100 elevator round trips in a 43-storey apartment building, claimed Nissan.
The automaker also claimed that EVs could hit the roads faster since electricity can be restored well ahead of fuel supplies return to normal in case of a disaster.
Japan's Agency for Natural Resources and Energy's data says that 90% of Japan's power grid was restored within a week of the March 2011 disaster while only 50% of fuel stations were reopened in that time.