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Green Building News

Mitsubishi Launches Integrated Solar Home and Car System

Solar panels can charge the electric vehicle, and the car's batteries can charge the home

Mitsubishi's Dendo Drive House, to be introduced in Europe and Japan this year, bundles solar panels, a bi-directional charger, and an electric vehicle in a single, integrated system. Prospects in the U.S. aren't known. [Image credit: Mitsubishi]

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation is using the Geneva International Motor Show to roll out the Dendo Drive House, an energy system that allows two-way power sharing between a home battery and an electric vehicle.

Mitsubishi will begin offering the system this year in Japan and Europe, according to an announcement. There was no word on whether it would be available in the U.S.

The Dendo Drive House includes solar panels, a home battery, and a bi-directional charger that allows power to flow from the home battery to the car or from the car to the home, The Verge reported. The car’s battery could help power the home in the event of a power failure, or allow a homeowner to take advantage of off-peak rates by charging the car at night and using it to run household appliances during the day.

The system could be used with plug-in vehicles as well as hybrids. The Verge said installation and maintenance would be available as a package from Mitsubishi dealerships. Mitsubishi explains the system in this video.

System pricing wasn’t announced, although the report said the bi-directional charger alone might cost as much as €10,000 ($11,200). That doesn’t include the home battery, installation, or solar panels.

A two-way system was announced on a trial basis last year in the U.K. by OVO Energy. Key differences were the lack of both a home battery and solar panels. The two-way OVO charger could be used to top off batteries in the vehicle when electricity rates were low, and then to sell electricity back to the grid when power was in more demand.

OVO, in collaboration with three other industry partners including Nissan, was offering the system for a two-year trial to 1,000 UK households at no cost. Funding was provided by the British government agency Innovate UK. Only the Nissan Leaf could be used with the V2G charger during the trial period.

An early model Tesla electric vehicle also could be used as a power source, but the feature was removed in later models, The Verge said. Elon Musk, the company’s CEO, said in a tweet last year, “Maybe worth revisiting that.”

One Comment

  1. skierpage2 | | #1

    The fear is that powering your home will prematurely degrade your BEV's battery. But a 60 kWh car battery holds four times the energy storage of a Tesla Powerwall 2, and even delivering 12 kW through the AC wall charger (50 Amps at 240 V, while a Powerwall can only deliver 7 kW peak) is only a 16 horsepower load.

    So it should be possible to skip the home battery and let your car participate in a massive distributed peaker plant: someone could aggregate 100,000 BEVs, each contributing 10 kWh at 7 kW in exchange for free electricity or other reward, into a 1 GWh/700 MW grid storage system! There's little motivation for Tesla to do this since it sells Powerwalls, but I hope future parked cars are part of a grid-tied battery.

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