Nissan has revealed an emergency response concept based on the pure-electric Leaf. The RE-LEAF is able to provide a mobile power supply for rescue efforts following natural disasters or extreme weather events.
The working prototype is based on a standard production Leaf, but modified to allow greater off-road access and featuring weatherproof plug sockets to draw power from the EV’s battery.
Nissan’s engineers intend to showcase what an EV can do when driven into the centre of a disaster zone to provide a mobile power supply to help the recovery process. The internal energy management system can run medical, communications, lighting, and other support equipment from the car.
Natural disasters are a major cause of power outages, with a 2019 World Bank report finding natural shocks and climate change caused 37% of outages in Europe between 2000 and 2017, and 44% of outages in the US.
It typically takes 24-48 hours for electricity to be restored after a disaster, a time when electric vehicles can provide support.
The RE-LEAF uses the Leaf’s bi-directional charging ability, a standard feature of the model since its introduction in 2010. Acting as a portable power station, the latest generation Nissan Leaf e+ with a fully charged 62 kilowatt-hour (kWh) battery can provide enough electricity to power the average UK household for around six days.
As a disaster recovery vehicle, the RE-LEAF can power multiple devices. Some example 230v power consumptions include:
● Electric Jack Hammer – 24 hours – 36 kWh
● Pressure Ventilation Fan – 24 hours – 21.6 kWh
● Intensive Care Medical Ventilator – 24 hours – 3 kWh
● 100 watt LED flood light – 24 hours – 2.4 kWh
Once electricity is restored to the area, EVs can be recharged and provide zero-emission transport – up to 239 miles (WLTP Combined) on a single charge of a Leaf e+ battery.
Helen Perry, Head of Electric Passenger Cars & Infrastructure for Nissan in Europe, said: “Through Nissan Intelligent Mobility, we’re constantly exploring ways that electric vehicles can enrich our lives, beyond just zero-emission transportation.
“Concepts like the RE-LEAF show the possible application of EVs in disaster management and demonstrate that smarter, cleaner technology can help save lives and provide greater resilience for the future.
“Electric vehicles are emerging as one of the technologies that can improve resilience in the power sector. By having thousands of EVs available on standby, either as disaster-support vehicles or plugged into the network through Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G), they’re uniquely capable of creating a virtual power plant to maintain a supply of energy during a major outage.”