Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. plans to donate 47 Nissan LEAF all-electric zero-emission EVs and “LEAF-to-Home” power supply systems (earlier post) to roadside rest area stations in all of Japan’s 47 prefectures. The plan will begin in September 2013. One Nissan LEAF, paired with a LEAF-to-Home power system, will be donated by Nissan to at least one roadside rest area (called michi-no-eki in Japanese) to each prefecture in the country.
The Nissan LEAF, paired with the LEAF-to-Home power supply system, can be used as back-up power source in emergency situations if there are power outages and/or shortages by providing the stored electricity held in the Nissan LEAF’s onboard batteries. In normal situations, the LEAF to Home power supply system helps stabilize the electrical grid and balance energy needs by charging an EV with electricity generated during the night, when demand is low, or sourced from solar panels and supplying it to homes during daytime when demand is high.
The michi-no-eki network in Japan has three functions: a rest area for travelers; as an information source for local residents as well as road users; and offers a cooperative community function in which towns reach out to each other to work together to build develop vibrant communities centered an activities held at the michi-no-eki stations. As the stations are public facilities often located alongside important arterial roads, in recent years they serve as bases of operations during natural disasters.
The lithium-ion batteries of Nissan LEAF can store 24 kWh of electricity. With the LEAF-to-Home power supply system complemented by a Nissan LEAF, power can be supplied from a Nissan LEAF to some parts of a michi-no-eki’s facilities through in case of power outages caused by disasters. It is expected that these michi-no-eki road stations will function as evacuation centers for local residents or a base for restoration support activities in the event of a natural disaster.
The donated Nissan LEAFs can be used as vehicles to transport the elderly and expecting mothers who find it difficult to purchase food and daily commodities at the roadside stations’ stores.
Nissan LEAF to go on sale in South Africa. The Nissan LEAF will make its South African debut at the Johannesburg International Motor Show in October 2013, going on sale to the public at the same time.
The launch of the Nissan LEAF in South Africa will be a ground-breaking event this year as it brings about the dawn of a new era of motoring. Nissan is the first brand to explore EV retail in South Africa and we are extremely proud to be able to say “we were first”.—Managing Director of Nissan South Africa, Mike Whitfield
The Nissan LEAF has already been involved in pilot programs with Eskom—the national electricity supplier—the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) and the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA).