A version of this article originally appeared at Consumer Energy Report

Nissan issued a press release earlier this month to announce that Power Stream will be using the V2H system with its fleet of Leafs in Canada. This device acts as a charger and as a power inverter, allowing 4 hour charges instead of 8 hours as well as the capacity to power a home for a couple of days in the event of a power outage. Apparently your Leaf has to have the CHAdeMO protocol quick charge port which was an option on the 2012 cars.

The price seems about right to me costing roughly twice as much as the charge stations now installed in homes but that’s still cheaper than a charge station and a backup generator system. With enough mass production there’s not reason they should cost more than a dishwasher. And if you live where there is a significant price difference for night electricity use it can defer some of its cost as well.

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From the press release:

  • The EV communicates directly with the utility or with the home energy manager to help manage electricity consumption;
  • The EV acts as a back-up power source in the event of a power outage;
  • Time-of-Use demand response scenarios where devices in the home like the refrigerator, washer/dryer and EV charger react to changes in the prices of electricity based upon the time of day.

Click here to see a video presentation.

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I’ve got this on my wish list when they become available in the States. Combine this with solar panels to keep the car charged and you could weather a power outage for as long as you can get enough sunshine. I could also see these units being sold at car dealerships. Instead of opting for leather seats, you might opt for a home power system.