Nissan has revealed a concept emergency response vehicle which it says can provide a mobile power supply in areas struck by natural disasters.
The Re-Leaf concept, based on a regular Nissan Leaf, has been created to showcase how electric vehicles can provide instant energy solutions in areas where power supplies have been interrupted.
Natural disasters are the biggest cause of power outages globally and a 2019 World Bank Report found natural shocks and climate change caused 37 per cent of outages in Europe between 2000 and 2017, and 44 per cent of outages in the US over the same period.
Typically when a natural disaster cuts power it can take between one and two days for its to be restored.
The Re-Leaf is designed to fill the gap while this happens, providing energy to power essential equipment such as jack hammers, floodlights and medical ventilators for up to several days using its 62kWh battery.
It can do this via the Re-Leaf’s bi-directional charging ability, which means it can not only “pull” power to recharge the high-capacity battery, but also “push” it back to electric devices or the energy grid.
To make it more useable in disaster zones, Nissan has also raised the Re-Leaf’s ride height with by 70mm to 225mm, widen the front and rear tracks, and fitted a custom sump guard, wheel arches, mud flaps and all-terrain tyres on 17-inch motorsport wheels. The rear seats have been removed to create a large cargo area and a bespoke pull-out desk extends from the boot with a 32-inch LED screen and dedicated power supply creating an operational hub
Helen Perry, head of electric passenger cars and infrastructure for Nissan in Europe, commented: “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.”
Dan Cooke, operations director at emergency search and rescue organisation Serve On, added: “Looking back to previous scenarios we’ve dealt with, this technology could have made a real difference. For example being able to power multiple filtration devices to produce thousands of litres of drinking water – essential in our line of work.”
In Japan, Nissan already has arrangements with 60 local governments to provide standard Leafs as emergency power sources at evacuation centres in the wake of typhoons and other natural disasters.