The Truth About Cars blog is reporting that Japan is busy laying the groundwork for a next-generation EV infrastructure that will integrate electric vehicle systems with the nation's power grid, enabling power to freely flow to (and from) future EVs.
More about what TTAC is calling “EV 2.0″, after the jump.
Japan’s New Energy and industrial Development Organization (NEDO) is so sure of the EV's prospects in Japan that they've offered to shoulder up to two-thirds of cost of implementing EV 2.0… and seem worried that they haven't yet done enough to generate new ways to use the big, expensive batteries in EVs while the cars themselves are not in use.
Nissan, Hitachi, and Orix have already signed on to work on new products to generate and utilize EV battery power, and the Nikkei indicates that the idea goes something like this:
- solar battery-chargers (Hitachi) keep the EV's batteries topped off, while
- energy control systems (Nissan) enable the EV batteries of the car to power items in the home, while
- energy management systems (Orix) turn the EV in the driveway into a sort-of electric-vehicle car-sharing business
That last part (about the car-sharing business) makes very little sense to me, so I'll assume it's a glitch in the translation software that means “you can sell surplus energy back to the grid for credits against your electric bill” in a manner similar to net-metering in the US.
We'll see how it all plays out in the coming months, but it looks like the Japanese are as excited about Nissan's new LEAF as anyone in the US is… let's hope it's not a flop!
SOURCE: the Truth About Cars.