Nissan Leaf batteries to power homes

The automaker shows a prototype of Nissan Leaf to Home, which uses the electric car's charging port to power a home in blackouts or to reduce peak power.

Martin LaMonica Former Staff writer, CNET News
Martin LaMonica is a senior writer covering green tech and cutting-edge technologies. He joined CNET in 2002 to cover enterprise IT and Web development and was previously executive editor of IT publication InfoWorld.
Martin LaMonica

Rather than cranking up a generator during a blackout, Nissan Leaf drivers may be able to tap into the electric car's batteries.

The Leaf's car charger will be adapted so it can draw energy from the battery to power a home.
The Leaf's car charger will be adapted so it can draw energy from the battery to power a home. Nissan

Nissan earlier this week unveiled its Nissan Leaf to Home system, which it plans to commercialize in Japan within a year.

The system uses the Leaf charging station to draw from the car's lithium ion batteries and feed current into a home's electricity distribution panel. The 24 kilowatt-hours of energy storage in the Leaf is enough to power an average Japanese home, which uses about half the energy of an average U.S. household, for about two days.

Nissan expects to make the two-way charging system available to Leaf owners in other countries after it's been adapted to local electricity systems, a company representative in Japan told PC World.

If a person pays a higher price for electricity during peak times, it's possible that charging a battery at night and drawing on it during peak times could save consumers money. That's the vision of many battery companies which envision home energy storage as a way to store energy from the grid or solar panels.

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