Mitsubishi goes 360° electric
With the technical face-lift of the popular Outlander PHEV (plug-in hybrid vehicle) Mitsubishi has announced to aim for an entire energy network, including home, office, loading station and the grid.
The substantial technical update of the Outlander PHEV announced at the Geneva Motor Show has brought Mitsubishi to announce its more global plans about managing electric energy, in the first place because this car can play an important role in this 360° approach.
The current Outlander PHEV can not only charge but also ‘discharge’ electrical energy, meaning that it can be used as a power supply for leisure, work or emergency circumstances. To that end a power plug that can support a 1.500 W charge is available in every car.
Especially in Japan, where the chances of natural disasters (especially earthquakes) are much higher, the attention for cars that can also serve as an emergency power supply is vivid. Mitsubishi gives the example of a family, completely cut of from the outer world in a rural area by heavy snowfall, which survived 4 days fairly comfortably on the power supply of their Outlander PHEV.
One of the biggest problems of durable, green electric energy is that production peaks don’t coincide with consumption peaks. The industry is trying to resolve this major problem by converting electricity into hydrogen, which can be stored, and reverse the process when the power is needed, but another solution is the smart grid.
The intelligent electricity network can be beneficial for many, also for its users. People with an electric or PHEV car can integrate their car into the network, delivering power when the grid needs it and extracting power when there is an overstock.
The price difference between the two moments can be beneficial for the individual consumer too. At the moment the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV and the full electric Nissan Leaf are capable of doing this right now, when a smart grid is available.
One step further
“But Mitsubishi wants to go further”, says Takashi Hiromatsu, responsible for EV development at Mitsubishi Motors. “We want to offer a complete ecosystem around the car, concerning home, work place and the power station”, he adds, “of course in Japan, but also in Europe and other continents.”
Conditio sine qua non, of course, is the presence of a smart grid. (Europe, Norway and Denmark are taking the lead here, Dutch energy companies are interested, in Belgium there is… silence). If so, V2X for Vehicle to… whatever is needed (Home, Building, Community, Grid…) can be deployed.
Dendo Drive Stations
In Japan Mitsubishi has already converted 40 of its 600 dealer outlets into Dendo Drive Stations where customers can charge their car or go for maintenance but also get information about everything concerning the intelligent network of the future. 200 of these DDS are planned by 2020.
Mitsubishi wants to roll out these DDS also in Europe and even further. It’s looking for volunteers in different European countries ready to get integrated in this electrical network of the future where even their house is built by their car manufacturer, so everything can be completely adapted to their energy needs and those of the society around.