Nissan says Leaf EV may also help owners cook dinner during a blackout

Article by Christian Andrei, on July 22, 2011

Nissan Motor Co. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. are working on increasing the discharge capacity of its electric cars so that these could have many other uses aside from being driven. Mitsubishi aims to increase the 100-watt discharge capacity of its i-MiEV electric car to 1,500 watts. Currently, the i-MiEV could power small devices like mobile phones with the use of an optional accessory.

Yoshikazu Nakamura, head of the company’s electric-vehicle business, said that when it has a capacity this high, it could power a rice cooker or a microwave.

Nissan and Mitsubishi, the world’s two biggest makers of electric vehicles, said that having these vehicles available as backup power sources would benefit the owner especially during calamities like the one last March that resulted to electricity shortage and rolling blackouts in Japan.

Even Toyota Motor Corp. has jumped on the bandwagon. By next year, Toyota will begin to offer AC electric outlets as an option on its popular Prius hybrid in Japan so drivers can plug in household appliances.

Toyota got the idea when many used the Toyota Estima hybrid van as a source of emergency electricity when power was cut. It is the sole Toyota model that offers a standard AC outlet. However, Toyota wants to place such an outlet on the Prius next year. It also said that it will eventually be seen across the hybrid lineup.

The front design of the Nissan LEAF has a distinctly sharp and upright V shape that features long LED headlights set with a blue reflective design that hints at how special the car is. The headlights pose more than just a visual statement, they also split and redirect airflow away from the car’s door mirrors, helping reduce drag and noise. The headlights also consume just a fraction of the power used up by traditional lamps, giving the Nissan LEAF outstanding range autonomy.

With bright trim colors in the interior, the Nissan LEAF gives you a stylish and eye-catching cabin. It uses the blue earth color theme that takes its inspiration from the first generation Nissan LEAF. Even the instrument lights and dashboard highlights take after this color theme.

Advanced Mobility System

Nissan LEAF uses an advanced IT system that only Nissan has. The mobility system is connected to a global data center that gives drivers information, entertainment and support at all times of the day.

You also have a monitor on the dashboard that tells you how much remaining power the car has. On top of displaying the reachable area, you also get a list of charging stations nearby.

And you can use your mobile phone to control the air conditioning and to schedule your charging even when you are not using the Nissan LEAF. You can also use the remote controlled timer onboard to schedule your recharging so that you can save electricity during off peak hours.

Nissan chief product specialist Tooru Abe explains that the new IT system provides significant advantage for the LEAF. Nissan wanted the car to be the driver’s partner while also offering passengers a better ride. Abe adds that they wanted the LEAF to start a “zero-emission community”, and the IT system can help bring that to reality.

A Comprehensive Approach to Eco-Friendliness

Nissan is positioning the LEAF as the first step in ushering in the zero-emission mobility. The Japanese carmaker knows that internal-combustion engine technologies will be an important component for vehicles in the years to come. Nissan, in response, will implement its zero-emission philosophy in a holistic way, giving customers a wide range of environmentally friendly technologies to choose from.

There are many loyal and contented customers of the Nissan LEAF and for many of them, it is the only car they will ever buy. For others, however, the LEAF will be a wonderful addition to the fleet of cars that they own. This is the car that families will use for their daily driving. Zero-emission is the primary aim, but Nissan is also committed to continuing innovation especially when it comes to environmentally sound technologies that make its cars more efficient and create low emissions. And that is why Nissan currently has a wide range of environmentally friendly technologies such as the HEV, Idle Stop, CVT, and Clean Diesel. The carmaker is also committed to investing in and researching on FCV technology.

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