More than a Car: The i-MiEV Is a Mobile Power Source

The recent anniversary of the Tohoku earthquake and subsequent nuclear disaster in Japan has prompted many people there (or at least the ones I know) to take a look at what resources they have on hand, and how they could be used in the event of another catastrophic power failure. Mitsubishi, at least, has some sort of answer — and it involves the super-cute all-electric i-MiEV.

Available as an option to new car buyers (and presumably existing i-MiEV owners as well) through its dealers on April 27, 2012 is the MiEV power BOX. It’s a relatively small and rather inconspicuous little white box, as its name might suggest. It plugs into the i-MiEV’s quick-charge outlet, and pulls electricity right from the battery. It then converts the electricity to AC 100V, with up to 1500W available.

How Much Power Is in an EV, Exactly?

According to the i-MiEV’s specifications, the lithium-ion battery pack, when 100% charged, has 16kWh. Attach the MiEV power BOX to the fully-charged battery, run it continuously at its full 1500W capacity, and between 5 and 6 hours of power should be available. Mitsubishi thinks that will run the typical Japanese household for about a day.

The MiEV power BOX is available through Mitsubishi dealers in Japan for 149,800 yen, or about $1821 USD (according to the exchange rate at 5pm on Monday, March 12). Mitsubishi has also announced this via its new Facebook page, where it has just started informing fans and potential customers of new developments.

The MiEV power BOX is definitely not a cheap option to get, but it’s very simple and very effective; it makes it that much easier to use the i-MiEV as an incredibly versatile and mobile power source. It also highlights one of the many things I love about electric cars — it’s more than just a car.

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