Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) has launched a "Hyper Energy Station" in Japan that can re-charge electric vehicles and act as backup power to the local grid.
The facility in Omiya, Saitama City, which features MMC’s 12KWh capacity lithium-ion batteries, can supply power for recharging EVs even when normal power supply is unavailable.
MMC, which has already opened 28 "DENDO Drive Station" showrooms (see picture) across Japan, all featuring solar panels and vehicle-to-building (V2B) charging stations, said it is creating a network of dealerships to expand the application.
The company said it plans to increase the current network to 200 showrooms by 2020.
In order to provide “cheaper, sustainable power” for EV owners, V2B allows the EV batteries to provide power to the building in times of high demand or an emergency. The building will then switch to charging cars at times of low grid demand, or when renewable energy production is at a peak.
Saitama City has partially subsidised the cost of the Omiya facilities, and the dealership has been designated a ‘next-generation automobile and smart energy special zone’ by the Japanese government.
Takashi Hiromatsu, assistant division general manager of MMC’s product strategy division, said: "As our cars have evolved to become EVs and PHEVs, it was a natural progression for showrooms to become charging stations. Now, we can use batteries to store zero emission electricity from rooftop solar panels and use it to manage energy demand at the dealership.”
Hiromatsu said: “As for the future, we would like it to become a vital part of the power grid, providing sustainability, stability and security to the transport and energy infrastructure even in times of emergency.”