Nissan says electric car can power family home

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Nissan's Leaf electric car can feed power from its battery back into a family home and run appliances for up to two days under a new project the Japanese car-maker unveiled Tuesday.

Using the "Leaf to Home" system, the lithium-ion batteries of the zero tailpipe emission Leaf can be used as an emergency power backup for the home during a natural disaster or a power blackout, Nissan said.

Nissan, 44 percent owned by Renault of France, said it aims to commercialize the technology in Japan by March 2012.

The system works by linking the car via a quick charging port to the house's electricity distribution panel. Power can also be fed the other way if the house generates its own electricity with rooftop solar panels.

The Leaf batteries have a capacity of 24 kilowatt hours when fully charged, equivalent to the electricity used by the average Japanese household in two days, said the company.

The output from the vehicle comes to six kilowatts, enough to power electricity-guzzling appliances such as a refrigerator, air conditioner and washing machine at the same time, the company said.

Nissan says as well as its potential use in blackouts, the car can be charged during night time off-peak hours and the electricity used by households during high-demand periods.

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