By on March 21, 2012

Continuing with our pledge to not leave the Mitsubishi out of our reindeer games coverage of the EV and hybrid scene, consumers in Japan who have bought or expect to buy an i-MiEV will be pleased to know that soon they’ll be able to buy a box that lets them run their house’s electrical appliances from the electricity supplied by their i-MiEV.

Mitsubishi is calling it the “MiEV power BOX” (I am getting so so tired of cutesy caps use – it’s a rEaL pItA to tyPe) and when plugged into a fully charged i-MiEV, it can supply 1,500 watts of electrical power for up to six hours, about what an average Japanese household would use in a day. I suppose in a power outage, you could use your EV to keep your food from spoiling, but when there’s a power outage, what are the chances of your EV being fully charged? If your power doesn’t come back on, how are you going to recharge your car? You’re stuck. Also, while the press release mentions a possible role EVs might play in the “smart grids” of the future, there is no mention of the MiEV power BOX being smart-grid capable. The MiEV power BOX is a dealer accessory in Japan, priced at ¥149,800 (~$1,800 U.S. today). No word yet on availability in North America, though i-MiEVs themselves are now starting to arrive at NA dealerships for demo use. Brown Mitsubishi, in the Toledo area, has a demo on the lot and expects to receive their initial order of 10 retail i-MiEVs in April. The i-MiEV has a MSRP of right around $30,000, before the US federal tax credit of $7,500. I’ll just note that the sales manager at the dealership told the Toledo Blade that those ten cars are all the i-MiEVs they expect to sell in 2012.

Press release and specs below?

Mitsubishi Motors to Launch MiEV Power BOX 1500 Watt Power Feeder for its Electric Vehicles

Tokyo, March 9, 2012 – Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) announced today that it will bring to market on April 27 the new MiEV power BOX power feeder which is capable of supplying large amounts of electrical power from an electric vehicle (EV). Supplied by a Mitsubishi Group affiliate, the MiEV power BOX will be offered as a dealer option for the company’s i-MiEV *1 and MINICAB-MiEV EVs and will carry a manufacturer’s recommended tax-inclusive price of \149,800.
*1: Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle

The MiEV power BOX is an adapter that plugs into the i-MiEV or MINICAB-MiEV’s quick charging connector and is capable of supplying up to 1500 watts of AC electricity from the power stored in the vehicle’s drive battery. It has been designed mainly to power household electrical appliances either when away from home or in an emergency. When connected to a fully-charged 16.0 kWh battery-equipped model the MiEV power BOX can supply 1500 watts of power for between five and six hours, equivalent to the amount consumed by an average Japanese household in a single day.

Much attention is currently being focused on the storage capabilities of high capacity EV batteries as a power source for use in major disasters and other emergencies. This comes at a time when solar power, wind power, and other recyclable energy sources are being promoted and the near-future implementation of “smart grids” which will allow the more effective use of electrical power. More and more people are looking to the EV both in terms of its traditional role of addressing environmental issues and also as a means of addressing ever-growing pressures on the demand and supply of energy. To meet these expectations MMC is pushing forward research and development into related technologies, one of which is the MiEV power BOX.

MiEV power BOX specifications

External dimensions (not including projections)
395mm x 334mm x 194mm
Connecting cable length
11.5kg (unit 9.5kg, cable 2kg)
100V AC
Max. power output
1500W (15Amp)
Output terminals (100V AC socket)






Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can dig deeper at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks for reading – RJS

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9 Comments on “Mitsubishi MiEV power BOX Can Run Japanese Homes...”

  • avatar

    1) Any car can do this. I ran the oil burner for my boiler, its circulators, a fan to blow exhaust away from my house and several CF lights from an inverter I hooked up to my wife’s diesel X5. It burned about 1/4 – 1/3 of a gallon an hour idling while supplying AC to the house. I did this for 6-8 hours a day and kept the house warm & had hot water from my domestic hot water supply.

    2) $1,800 is a pretty heavy duty price for an inverter of this size, though with manufacturer support, good integration with the vehicle, a true sine wave output and hopefully plenty of surge overhead it isn’t too overpriced.

    3) A hybrid makes a far better source to run an emergency inverter during outages. You can run off the batteries until the charge level drops, then the gas engine will kick on to recharge the batteries. This has been done by enough Prius owners that it now even has a cutesy name, the PriUPS. (

    4) What genius designed that plug with the cable going up as it comes out of the car? Do they expect you to mount the inverter on the car’s roof?

    • 0 avatar

      1) Any car can do this if they just need a few hundred watts. Most cars alternators are woefully undersized to support heavier needs. At lighter loads they will be woefully inefficient, though this may be of no importance during a power outage.
      2) Agree. Though a PriUPS is hardly inexpensive, at least as a hobbyist undertaking.
      3) I don’t know that it’s been done by “enough Prius owners” (maybe a dozen or two of the million+ priuses sold) – but it’s certainly been done.
      4) I think it plugs into the standard charging port – which is intended to be plugged into a cable attached to the ceiling or wall.

  • avatar

    How did they manage to get 10 of them?, they are in tight supply.

    At $22.5k the iMiev will be the lowest cost BEV in the market, before any state incentives kick in.. in Ohio the state will pay 80% to buy and install the home charging station.. that can be a lot if you have to retrofit an older garage with 240V.

    I dont know about Ohio, but in Florida that 1500w inverter would be popular.. it would keep my fridge going for several days.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    It is a spectacularly stupid idea. If things get that bad in your neighborhood, the last thing you want to do is to render your means of escape inoperable. If you need a lot of back up power buy a gas powered generator. If batteries will do, get a UPS. If you own an electric car, keep it charged so you can leave in an emergency.

    • 0 avatar

      Most 16 kWh UPSs are a little bit expensive (or 9-10 kWh, which is the usable energy you can pull out of this).

      Most people that own an electric car will also own a gas car for longer trips. In any case, if you need to leave in an emergency where infrastructure is uncertain you probably don’t want to use a battery vehicle.

      We had a power outage in North Alabama about a year ago, knocked out power for about 4-5 days for most of the region. 10 kWh obviously wouldn’t have let you run your entire house for the interim, but it would have let you keep an efficient refrigerator / freezer powered until power was restored.

      • 0 avatar

        Last October in New England and Northeast we had the snow storm from hell. I was out for 3 days, my mom 4 days. My city of 40,000 in Western Mass. had about 90% without power. Some poor bastards in other towns went weeks without power. Granted something like that is once in a lifetime (hopefully) event, but what do you do if you only had a EV?

        Never saw anything like it before and never want to see it again.

        I’ve been tempted to get a generator.

        1500 watts is in the “Isn’t that cute” category, but I wish I had had one.

    • 0 avatar

      No one should depend on a BEV as a means of escape.. BEVs are best suited to households with multiple cars.. to handle the occasional trip longer than 60 miles.

      You could recharge the iMiev with a generator, and then use the stored power to quietly power lights, TV, computer etc.. instead of running a loud generator all night long.. generators are not efficient running small loads.

  • avatar

    Thing that worries me about this MiEV is that it apparently uses all its battery capacity, rather than half like the Prius or Volt. This according to March C/D. It does have thermal management, but doesn’t run the battery in its sweet spot for longevity. So while it may outlast a laptop or phone battery, it is going to croak early, or maybe even brick like Tesla. Avoid like the plague, in my opinion.

    • 0 avatar

      The Leaf can use up to 93%… the Volt up to 65%.

      The Leaf and iMiev depend on most people just driving about 40 miles a day, 12k miles a year.. so their batteries get little use on average.. the occasional deep discharge wont hurt them.

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