One day soon your electric car could be your backup house power as well as your means to getting to work – and if a research center called “M-tech Labo” just opened by Mitsubishi in Japan has anything to say about it, that’s exactly where things could be headed.
Following lessons learned by its MiEV project, and investing heavily in future electrified vehicles besides, Mitsubishi Corporation, and its automobile and electrical divisions are working further along the lines of proving a smart grid whereby the large batteries in its EVs would be fully capable of two-way energy flow.
According to Gas2.0, the lab – “Labo” is believed to be short for “laboratory” – is running under supervision from the Tokyo Institute of Technology, and already at work trying to implement the mobile electricity storage concept, with Mitsubishi’s Nagoya Works facility being used to conduct the experiment.
If you’ve been following EVs, you’ve probably seen similar stories before. The intention is to determine whether EV batteries can help to regulate uneven power in an already maxed-out grid. Mitsubishi’s goals would include not interfering with drivers who wish to actually use their cars.
In Japan, energy storage is said to be especially an issue. There, land space is at a premium and bulky, stationary charging stations aren’t seen as an economical solution.
Talk is also of adding renewable power generation, and Mitsubishi is giving the research a year to determine viability of a new “eco city” that could be developed on smarter energy usage now being pioneered.
If the research pans out, EVs could add to a power grid network to store, exchange and balance out energy in Japan, with ability to adapt lessons learned elsewhere in years to come.