In Sandy’s Wake, a Nissan-Powered Fridge
November 9, 2012
One of the clean little secrets about dealing with climate change is that, making the right choices about climate will also make us safer, more prosperous, more secure, and more resilient in the face of the unexpected.
As millions of people fired up generators and burned candles in the wake of superstorm Sandy, some EV owners hacked their cars to keep their lights on and refrigerators humming.
For Virginia resident Scott Wilson, that involved nothing more than making sure his Nissan Leaf’s battery pack was topped up the night before, along with having a ProWatt 1000 DC-to-AC converter and a pair of $25 (£15) cables at the ready. And it’s something that EV owners along the east coast can do as they prepare for the latest nor’easter front.
After a derecho storm hit the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest in June of this year and Wilson lost power for a few days, he wanted a sure-fire plan to keep the juice flowing during Sandy. That involved ordering the ProWatt from an online marine store (for $270 (£170), which could use the electricity from his Leaf’s 24 kWh lithium-ion battery pack to power his refrigerator, microwave and even his coffee maker — although not all at once.
“I had the inverter hooked up and ready earlier in the day,” Wilson told Wired.com, explaining that the modification had been done by many members on the MyNissanLeaf enthusiast site, and others involved in the Electric Vehicle Association of Greater Washington, DC.
While this roll-your-own solution is relatively new in the US, with only a handful of the geekiest EV and hybrid owners employing the setup in the last few months, Nissan has offered an official solution that’s been on sale in Japan since June.
Originally shown as a concept at the Tokyo Motor Show last year, the “ Leaf to Home” system was a response by the automaker following the devastatingearthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in March of 2011 and left millions without power.
More of the bigger picture in my EV video below: