Oh no! Power's out. After you've grabbed the flashlights and checked on your perishables, you might decide it's best to cook up that frozen pizza for dinner tonight rather than waste it—if only you had a way to power your microwave, of course. In the future, if Nissan and Mitsubishi are successful in their new electric car ventures, you'll be able to turn to your ride to power up your appliances.
Inspired by the rolling blackouts in Tokyo after March's devastating earthquake, Japanese car manufacturers Mitsubishi and Nissan are working on a way to update their electric-powered vehicles, turning them into emergency power sources for household appliances.
Today's electric cars are already able to power up small devices like mobile phones. But by bumping up the wattage of a cars' discharge capacity, from around 100 watts to nearly 1,500 watts, you can begin to power up larger devices like rice cookers or microwaves.
Mistubishi expects to upgrade the i_MiEv's battery by the end of this year, offering a converter device to convert the battery's direct current into alternating current. Nissan plans to unveil a discharge system for the Leaf by early next month.
Using your electric car as a sort of emergency power generator could help tremendously in an emergency situation when your home is left without power, allowing you to operate anything from a safe lamp to a microwave. But would this new feature persuade you to invest in an electric car? Tell us in the comments!