A new system that will allow a homeowner to capture energy from the sun and then share it as needed between their house and battery electric car – and back again – is being offered by Japanese carmaker Mitsubishi.
It’s a concept that to some may seem very futuristic, particularly given the current debate around EVs in Australia, but there is logic and opportunity in integrating home and car energy needs to not only use the same source of power, but also share that power according to day-to-day needs.
Sun out? Plug the car in, and charge up the home and car battery to the brim.
Cloudy day and home battery running low? Plug the car in and funnel power back to the home. Put the kettle on.
The Dendo Drive House (DDH) system that will first be available in Japan and Europe, uses vehicle-to-home technology (V2H) to allow multiple electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles to benefit from the solar power captured in a home’s battery and also share back to it when the home battery energy levels drop.
The packaged system will be sold through Mitsubishi dealers, including not only the car itself, but also rooftop solar panels, bi-directional charger and home battery.
The platform has a great deal of potential in transforming homeowner dependence on the grid, and Mitsubishi hopes it will help in cutting not only customer’s energy costs but also their private transport costs.
Of course depending on home energy requirements and battery package size, there may be times when both car and home battery run low – at times like these it would be possible to top up at a destination or fast charger and literally drive the power back home.
The concept was first seen at last month’s Geneva Motor Show, alongside Mitsubishi’s newly introduced Engelberg Tourer plug-in hybrid concept, using data gleaned from 190,000 Outlander PHEVs and a number of V2H pilot conducted by the carmaker.
There is currently no word on when and if the Dendo Drive House system will be available in Australia, although of Mitsubishi’s electrified offerings, only the Outlander PHEV is currently available in Australia.
Up to now, only one electric car proposes vehicle-to-grid technology, the new Nissan Leaf, but it is yet to gain approval from local networks.
As for Mitsubishi, the all-electric i-MiEV hatchback was first available under leasing agreements in August 2010 but was withdrawn from sale in 2014 when the introduction of the larger Outlander PHEV proved more successful.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.