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September 30, 2020

Nissan Says the All-Electric LEAF Makes Sense for Emergency Disaster Response

From powering a Christmas tree to using its stored electrical charge to pay for parking, Nissan has found more ingenious ways to use its all-electric Leaf in real-world situations. The newest concept is called Re-Leaf, and it’s an emergency response vehicle concept that provides a mobile power supply following natural disasters or extreme weather events.

Natural disasters are the biggest cause of power outages. A 2019 World Bank report found natural shocks and climate change caused 37 percent of outages in Europe between 2000 and 2017, and 44 percent of outages in the US over the same period.

When a disaster hits, the time for electricity supply to be restored is typically 24-48 hours, depending on the severity of the damage. During that period, electric vehicles can provide zero-emission, mobile emergency power.

To help it navigate roads with obstructions or fallen debris, the Re-Leaf’s ride height has been raised by 70mm to 225mm with a custom sump guard to protect the car’s floor pan. Wider tracks (+90mm front / +130mm rear), custom wheel arches, mud flaps and all-terrain tires on 17-inch motorsport wheels add to the capability.

The rear seats have been removed and the floor leveled to provide storage for essential equipment. A custom bulk-head cage also separates the front seats from the cargo area.

The large capacity and high reliability of the Leaf’s lithium-ion battery ensures a stable power supply to support multiple powered devices. The integrated energy management system is able to output the Re-Leaf battery’s power at up to 230-volts. There are three sockets: two weatherproof external C-Form connectors for easy access, and an internal domestic socket mounted in the cargo hold.

According to Nissan, here are certain devices that the Re-Leaf can power:
  • Electric Jack Hammer – 24 hours – 36kWh
  • Pressure Ventilation Fan – 24 hours – 21.6kWh
  • Intensive Care Medical Ventilator – 24 hours – 3kWh
  • 100-watt LED flood light – 24 hours – 2.4kWh
Moreover, a pull-out desk can also extend from the luggage compartment along with a 32-inch LED screen and dedicated power supply creating an operational hub to run communications from and manage in disaster response.

Once power is restored, the Leaf can be recharged even using domestic sockets if no EV infrastructure is available in the immediate vicinity.

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