Electric cars are more versatile than you think – RE-LEAF could provide relief in emergency situations

Electric cars have many advantages over ICE-powered ones. They are quiet, environmentally-friendly, cheap to run and very reliable. But Nissan thinks there is more. It now introduced the RE-LEAF concept, which aims to show how versatile electric cars can be in emergency situations.

Nissan RE-LEAF could react very quickly to natural disasters and various accidents. Image credit: Nissan

Nissan LEAF once was the most popular electric car in the world. It doesn’t hold this title anymore, but it is still a competitive model in this expanding market. One of the advantages of the new LEAF is its bi-directional charging. This essentially means that you can use your car as a big power bank. In fact, Nissan says that a LEAF with 62 kWh battery can power the average European household for six days. This is, of course, nice insurance to have in case of a power outage, but Nissan says it makes LEAF perfect for emergency response application.

RE-LEAF has a much stronger appearance than the standard model. Image credit: Nissan

RE-LEAF’s name, obviously, is a bit of a pun. But that RE stands for response, recovery and resilience. For a quicker response it has beefier tires, which stand a better chance of traversing various debris that could be on the way to a site of a natural or a technological disaster. RE-LEAF’s suspension was raised by 70 millimeters to 225 mm and its track is wider too. RE-LEAF has bigger arches and a special guard to protect it’s floor where the batteries are.

Short demonstration of the Nissan RE-LEAF

RE-LEAF doesn’t have the rear seats – instead that area is used for storage. The trunk has a pull-out desk with a 32-inch LED screen. There are other changes to the interior as well, making the RE-LEAF a mobile base for coordinating operations.

However, the big advantage of the RE-LEAF is its battery. RE-LEAF could come with a 40 or 62 kWh battery, which could be used to power various tools and implements necessary for emergency response. Now generators are used for that, but they take some time to set up – RE-LEAF offers a much quicker solution, which can power the site of the disaster until bigger, more powerful means are available. And then RE-LEAF could be used to power the operation centre or simply charge communication equipment.

RE-LEAF could power various equipment until electricity is restored. Image credit: Nissan

RE-LEAF has three sockets – two weatherproof external C-form connectors for easy access, and an internal domestic socket mounted in the trunk. And don’t think it’s too small – an electric jackhammer uses just 36 kWh of power in 24 hours, while other tools use even less.

Will Nissan launch a series production of the RE-LEAF? Probably not. However, it’s a good demonstration of what electric vehicles are capable of. They are here just for their eco-credentials. They are much more useful and versatile than people know.


Source: Nissan

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