(Dec 2011)


Gasoline is burning holes in all our pockets. Close your eyes and imagine never having to pull up to that dreadful pump anymore, just parking the car refuels it. That imagery is heaven for that split second, then reality comes crashing back.


Starting in 2013 that fantasy may be a reality. Japanese automaker, Nissan, introduced the new Nissan Leaf and Leaf Powered Smart Home at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2011. This house uses the Nissan Leaf as a secondary power source to use in case of power outages or other issues. Spokespeople stated that a fully charged Lead could power the "average Japanese home" for two days. The house also has a solar roof for powering the house or charging the Leaf. Excess power is fed back to the grid. The pod-like house might not be for everyone, but what Nissan had outside the show may change how people view electric cars.


(Japanese Nissan Smart-Home overiew, via Nissan)



At the Oppama Factory, the company showed off its wireless charging pad for Nissan’s new Leaf. A wireless charging pad uses electromagnetic induction to transfers power between the pad and the built in receiver that is placed on the bottom of the newly bloomed Nissan Leaf. The efficiency levels of the charging pad is between 80 and 90 percent. Just ease your EV directly above the system to begin the charge, and monitor progress on the ground transmission units control panel.


What is key about this system is that it is factory built. I remember when wireless key entry was only for the most expensive automobiles. To have that type of system, there was an install-yourself aftermarket kit. Many I knew bought one but never installed it. They all waited until their cars came equipped with such features direct from the factory. Having the wireless charging built in will make for an easy wide-spread adoption. (2 cents a mile awaits us all. Gasoline is 25 cents per mile, at the moment.) Wireless charging is nothing new. Kits do exist already, but will people want to install them? Only a dedicated few.


Unfortunately, older generation Leafs need not apply. The charging option is exclusive to the newer gen Nissan Leafs. Too bad we have to bear at least two more dreadful winters until the new Nissan leaf sprouts in 2013.