The Japanese seem to be convinced that EVs are the wave of the future. They are so convinced that they are thinking up schemes to use that big expensive battery in the car for other things if the car is not used for other things. Such as when that new EV is sitting in the driveway while Watanabe-san commuted to work using the JR-train. Nissan, Hitachi, and Orix announced that they will work together on turning those batteries-on-wheels into dual-use technology.
“The idea is to prepare the groundwork for an infrastructure in which electric vehicles are part of a broader use of renewable energy,” says The Nikkei [sub]. This is roughly how it’s supposed to work:
- Solar battery-chargers developed by Hitachi will keep the batteries topped off.
- Control systems developed by Nissan enable the lithium ion batteries in the Leaf to power the house when the car is not used.
- Management technologies developed by Orix turn the car in the driveway into a small electric-vehicle car-sharing business.
Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization, or NEDO, will shoulder two-thirds of the project’s cost. They seem to be so convinced of the success of the EV that they are already worried about it sitting around idle.