One of the main criticisms of EVs — that even though electric vehicles produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions, the electricity powering them isn’t climate neutral — is certainly valid. In 2018, only 17.1% of electricity generation in the U.S. came from renewable sources. So when you plug in that shiny new Tesla in your garage at night, it might be charging up on coal.
Mitsubishi thought of a better way, not only for your electric vehicle, but for your entire abode. They’re calling it the Dendo Drive House System, a four-in-one “energy ecosystem which allows owners of electric vehicles to generate, store and share energy automatically between their car and home.” The parts include your EV or PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle), a bi-directional charger, solar panels and a home battery.
Basically, power is derived from the solar panels, stored in the home battery, then shared between the car and household. But because of the bi-directional charger, power can go into the car as well as from the car to the house.
It might seem ineffective at first (does an EV really hold enough energy to power a house?) but the video above notes the obvious, that it will come in handy during power outages. The Verge points out an even more practical scenario: “The system could also be useful if your electricity tariff offers you a discount during off-peak hours, when the electricity grid is under less load and cheaper to use as a result. For example, your car could inexpensively charge itself overnight, and then power your AC during the day.” Brilliant.
The Dendo Drive House was announced in conjunction with Mitsubishi's Engelberg Tourer PHEV concept SUV, but the DDH is no mere concept. Mitsubishi plans to offer the service in both Japan and Europe in 2019, but according to their press release it “will be offered to customers at Mitsubishi dealerships when buying a battery-electric (EV) or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV)” and they “will bundle the sale, installation and after-maintenance of the system components.”
Meaning? You have to buy a vehicle to take advantage of the whole system, and there are no plans to bring it to America at the moment. But considering Mitsubishi has seen six straight years of growth in the U.S., hopefully that will change.
Images courtesy of Mitsubishi Motor Corporation