Nissan’s new EV concept that’s not just another EV concept

Credit: Original article published by Classic Cars Journal.

Nissan has unveiled its latest concept vehicle, the Re-Leaf, and it’s electric powered, but its power has a purpose, to supply electricity for emergency response after natural disasters or other emergencies. 

“The Re-Leaf can be driven into the center of a disaster zone and provide a fully mobile power supply to aid the recovery process,” Nissan said as it revealed the concept car in Paris. “The integrated energy management system can run medical, communications, lighting, heating and other life-supporting equipment.”

The car also has been modified (in ride height, under-vehicle protection, wider track and all-terrain tires) to be able to travel over debris-covered roads to get where it is needed, and has weatherproof electrical outlets mounted on its exterior to power 110- to 230-volt devices from its high-capacity lithium-ion battery, Nissan said.

“We’re constantly exploring ways that electric vehicles can enrich our lives, beyond just zero-emission transportation,” Helen Perry, head of electric passenger cars and infrastructure for Nissan in Europe, was quoted in the news release. “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.”

Noting that natural disasters are the largest cause of power outages, “When a disaster hits, the time for electricity supply to be restored is typically 24 to 48 hours, depending on the severity of the damage. During that period, electric vehicles can provide zero-emission mobile emergency power,” Nissan said, adding that it developed the Re-Leaf to demonstrate the potential for EVs in disaster recovery efforts.

Nissan said that since its introduction in 2010, the Leaf has been equipped with “bidirectional” charging ability, meaning it not only can pull power to recharge its batteries but push power out through V2G (vehicle-to-grid) or V2X (vehicle-to-everything) technology.

“Acting as a portable power station, the latest generation Nissan Leaf e+ with a fully charged 62 kilowatt-hour battery can provide enough electricity to power the average European household for six days,” Nissan said.

“As a disaster recovery vehicle, the Re-Leaf can power multiple devices simultaneously. Here are some examples based on 230-volt power use:

  • Electric jackhammer – 24 hours (36 kWh)
  • Pressure ventilation fan – 24 hours (21.6 kWh)
  • 10-liter soup kettle – 24 hours (9.6 kWh)
  • Intensive care medical ventilator – 24 hours (3 kWh)
  • 100-watt LED floodlight – 24 hours (2.4 kWh)

“Once electricity is restored to the area, EVs can be recharged and provide zero-emission transport – up to 385 kilometers (238 miles) 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,” Perry said. “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.”

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