Nissan has reconfigured its Leaf electric car as an emergency response vehicle concept that could provide a fully mobile power supply in the aftermath of natural.
Developed to provide a solution to aid the recovery process, it’s based on the standard Leaf and dubbed Re-Leaf.
Natural disasters are the biggest cause of power outages but typically it can take 24 to 48 hours for power to be restored – giving rise to an opportunity for a mobile, zero-emission, mobile emergency power source.
This is where the Nissan Re-Leaf enters, complete with modifications to navigate roads covered in debris and weatherproof plug sockets mounted directly to the exterior of the vehicle. These enable multiple 110 to 230-volt devices to be powered from the car’s high-capacity lithium-ion battery, such as medical, communications, lighting and other life-supporting equipment. Examples include an intensive car medical ventilator or a pressure ventilation van.
Although it’s just a working concept, the technology is already being used in the real world. In Japan, Nissan has used the Leaf to provide emergency power and transportation following natural disasters since 2011, and the company has formed partnerships with more than 60 local governments to support disaster relief efforts.
Acting as a portable power station, the latest-generation Nissan LEAF e+ with a fully charged 62 kilowatt-hour (kWh) battery can also provide enough electricity to power the average UK household for around six days, drawing on the car’s bi-directional charging ability introduced in 2010.
Nissan EVs can also act as mobile storage batteries to supply homes and society with electricity during non-emergency situations through the Nissan Energy Share scheme, creating a distributable energy model that can be used to help stabilise supply and demand.
Helen Perry, head of electric passenger cars & infrastructure for Nissan in Europe, commented: “Through Nissan Intelligent Mobility, we’re constantly exploring ways that electric vehicles can enrich our lives, beyond just zero-emission transportation. Concepts like the Re-Leaf show the possible application of EVs in disaster management and demonstrate that smarter, cleaner technology can help save lives and provide greater resilience for the future.”