When you think about plugging something into the AC adapter of a car, you probably conjure up images of cell phones, iPods and possibly portable televisions for the kids in the back. But Mitsubishi Motor Corporation announced yesterday that they are looking beyond the normal uses for AC adapters and will soon be releasing one that is able to power small kitchen appliances like microwaves and rice cookers. They envision their tiny i-MiEV as not just an emissions-free mode of transportation, but also a back up home in the case of large power outages. If the grid goes black, have no fear, head out to the car to cook dinner tonight.
“Today more and more people are looking to the EV both as a means to address environmental issues and also to address the pressures on the demand and supply of energy,” said the company in a statement released yesterday. Mitsubishi has been looking at the advanced battery in their i-MiEV as more than a source of energy for the vehicle but also as an alternative source of energy for its owners in the case of a black out, natural disaster or emergency situation.
Specifically in Japan, with the recent Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, there are many nuclear reactors that have been unable to come online due to political pressures and newly initiated stress tests. Many fear that a winter time power crunch will cause large communities to go without electricity. Mitsubishi Motors President Osamu Masuko sees the car’s advanced battery as a part of the future of the world’s renewable energy storage market. With this new AC adapter due out later this year, as Mitsubishi hopes, it could be a nice back up plan for a home’s power outlet. Let’s just hope they remember to charge their EV and that the power comes back on quickly — the battery can only power a microwave for about a day and a half.