Nissan revealed a 100% electric emergency response vehicle concept on 29th September. It is planned to deliver a mobile power supply while following natural disasters or extreme weather.
The RE-Leaf working prototype is centered on the Nissan Leaf passenger car, the world’s first mass-production electric car. The RE-Leaf supports the three “REs” of disaster preparedness, which aids in an emergency, in the humanitarian recovery, and enlightening community resilience for the future. Since its introduction in 2010, it uses the LEAF’s bidirectional charging ability, a typical feature of the model. It means that the LEAF can not only “pull” power to boost the high- battery, but also “push” it back to the grid through V2G (Vehicle-to-Grid) technology, or directly to electric devices through V2X (Vehicle-to-everything).
Therefore, It can be driven into the focus of a disaster zone and be responsible for a fully mobile power supply to support the recovery process. The cohesive energy management system can provide medical, communications, lighting, heating, and other life-support.
Besides the amendments given to navigate roads covered in debris, the RE-Leaf also features weatherproof plug sockets straddling directly to the exterior of the vehicle. It will enable 110- to 230-volt devices to be power-driven from the car’s high-capacity lithium-ion battery.
Helen Perry, the head of electric passenger cars and infrastructure for Nissan said, “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.”
While talking about natural disasters, they are the main cause of power outages. According to a 2019 World Bank report, it was found that natural shocks and climate change caused 37% of outages in Europe between 2000 and 2017, and 44% of outages in the U.S. The time for electricity source to be reinstated is normally 24 to 48 hours, depending on the brutality of the destruction. Thus, electric vehicles can be responsible for providing a zero-emission mobile emergency power during that period.
Nissan formed the RE-LEAF to validate the perspective of electric vehicles in disaster recovery. Though it is just a working concept, technology is already being cast-off in the real world. Nissan has used the LEAF to deliver emergency power and transportation following natural disasters since 2011 In Japan. The company has collaborated with more than 60 local governments to aid provision in disaster relief efforts. Meanwhile, Nissan EVs can also turn as mobile storage batteries to supply homes and society with electricity during non-emergency situations through Nissan Energy Share while producing a distributable energy model that can help to stabilize supply and demand.
It is the modern generation Nissan Leaf e+ with a fully charged 62-kilowatt-hour battery, which can provide enough electricity to power the average European household for at most six days.
In addition, the RE-Leaf can boost multiple devices simultaneously as a disaster recovery vehicle
Following are some examples based on 230-volt power usage:
- 10-liter soup kettle – 24 hours – 9.6 kWh
- Intensive care medical ventilator – 24 hours – 3 kWh
- Pressure ventilation fan – 24 hours – 21.6 kWh
- 100-watt LED floodlight – 24 hours – 2.4 kWh
- Electric jackhammer – 24 hours – 36 kWh
Once electricity is reinstated to the area, EVs can be recharged and thus provide zero-emission transport – up to 385 kilometers on a single charge of a Leaf e+ battery.
“Electric vehicles are emerging as one of the technologies that can improve resilience in the power sector. By having thousands of EVs available on standby, either as disaster support vehicles or plugged into the network through Vehicle-to-Grid, they’re uniquely capable of creating a virtual power plant to maintain a supply of energy, Perry added.”
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