etrans
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An AC outlet in the car = value & utility added

Fri Mar 30, 2012 5:19 pm

A 15A/120VAC outlet in the trunk would add utility and value for many prospective purchasers and help offset the high cost of the L2 charger (up to 10% of the cost of the car).

Not for running your whole house but the same function as a 1KW generator running during a power outage. Enough to power a few lights, TV, computer, microwave during an emergency. If you have a 22KWHR battery sitting in the garage why not use it? Much safer than a a gas generator (how many dozen people are killed by carbon monoxide each year running generators in basements and garages?), plus very handy for camping, tailgate parties, using a string trimmer or chain saw out on the driveway and so on.

Cost to include would be low, perceived added value would be high.

waitingforaleaf
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Re: An AC outlet in the car = value & utility added

Fri Mar 30, 2012 9:53 pm

Mitsubishi seems to be offering device to provide similar functionality in their vehicles in Japan. http://www.plugincars.com/mitsubishi-unveils-blackout-inspired-i-miev-power-box-114873.html Not so sure, if the device would work with a Leaf. Either way, it seems a bit expensive to me and not so practical for use when you consider the potential loss in vehicle range in order to use it. Though the range lost would be less of a concern if DC fast chargers actually start to show up around here.
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HoustonFlier
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Re: An AC outlet in the car = value & utility added

Wed Jun 27, 2012 9:19 am

Leaf in Japan does have 100V output.

Japan uses 100v, at 50 or 60Hz depending on which side.
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Electric4Me
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Re: An AC outlet in the car = value & utility added

Wed Jun 27, 2012 10:34 am

So, help me out here... If the power was out for an extended time, could you shut of the house's main breaker, turn on the Leaf (to keep the 12V system "connected" to the main pack), plug in a common 12V inverter, and the other end to a 120V outlet on the wall (with a male-male adapter), and run items in your house on the same 120V wiring leg? (up to the rating of the inverter & 12V plug in the car)
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mwalsh
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Re: An AC outlet in the car = value & utility added

Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:39 pm

Prototype had one. Deleted in production vehicle.
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HoustonFlier
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Re: An AC outlet in the car = value & utility added

Wed Jun 27, 2012 1:52 pm

Electric4Me wrote:So, help me out here... If the power was out for an extended time, could you shut of the house's main breaker, turn on the Leaf (to keep the 12V system "connected" to the main pack), plug in a common 12V inverter, and the other end to a 120V outlet on the wall (with a male-male adapter), and run items in your house on the same 120V wiring leg? (up to the rating of the inverter & 12V plug in the car)


No.
And it would be dangerous too.

The cigarette lighter has an max amp (10A?, 120W) max load. No way can you run a fridge.

IF the car was equipped with built in 110V, then it can provide a 15A out (1500~1650 Watt) that can run a fridge for emergency needs.

After the massive quake in Japan, I think all EV now offer this for emergency.
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Electric4Me
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Re: An AC outlet in the car = value & utility added

Wed Jun 27, 2012 3:00 pm

HoustonFlier wrote:No.
And it would be dangerous too.

The cigarette lighter has an max amp (10A?, 120W) max load. No way can you run a fridge.

IF the car was equipped with built in 110V, then it can provide a 15A out (1500~1650 Watt) that can run a fridge for emergency needs.

After the massive quake in Japan, I think all EV now offer this for emergency.

OK, I understand that the load & inverter capability have to be matched, it was the concept I was trying to confirm. I see that higher wattage inverters are designed to be connected directly to the battery posts.
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adric22
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Re: An AC outlet in the car = value & utility added

Wed Jun 27, 2012 4:08 pm

Electric4Me wrote:So, help me out here... If the power was out for an extended time, could you shut of the house's main breaker, turn on the Leaf (to keep the 12V system "connected" to the main pack), plug in a common 12V inverter, and the other end to a 120V outlet on the wall (with a male-male adapter), and run items in your house on the same 120V wiring leg? (up to the rating of the inverter & 12V plug in the car)


In theory, you could do this. In practice, not very advisable. Also the main bottleneck would probably be the DC-DC converter inside the car that generates the 12V for the cars electrical system.

GM and Chrysler have dabbled in this for some of their hybrid trucks. I think it is a great idea and I'm really surprised more hybrid and electric vehicles don't offer this sort of functionality. I know there are aftermarket kits for Prius that can tap into the car's high voltage system and generate quite a bit of power. If you think about it a hybrid can generate a lot more electricity even at idle than a regular gasoline car using a standard alternator. If you've ever looked at the cost of large portable generators, it seems like a hybrid vehicle could be a mobile generating station for emergencies. Granted the gas tank is smaller than a lot of large generators but you could carry a few cans of gas with you.

I would hope more manufacturers would start offering that feature as some sort of option on hybrid vehicles. Just think about folks who work on construction sites and what not. Great application for mobile power. My guess is that they don't like it since it racks up wear and tear on the car even though the odometer isn't actually moving.

I'm not a huge fan of using an EV for this purpose. I mean, if the power is out I have no way to charge my car. So the last thing I'm going to want to do is drain the battery in my EV and leave my powerless and stranded too. At least with a hybrid you could power your house and when you run low on gas you could hop in the car, drive to a gas station somewhere that has power, fill up, then come up and power your home some more.
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EVDRIVER
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Re: An AC outlet in the car = value & utility added

Wed Jun 27, 2012 4:29 pm

The DC/DC can supply at least 100 amps at 12V but this is an inefficient way to go when you have pack voltage. Much better to go from the pack to 120V but this converter is costly. My Tacoma truck has an AC outlet in the rear bed, no big deal. It does not make sense to run the entire car to have the DC/DC going converting the pack to 12V then converting it again to 120V, this is really poor efficiency. In addition forget connecting it to the house, it would be for small items in the car. The application using Pack voltage via the L3 port makes much more sense and is costly to implement in the car as it requires pack voltage live to the unit or some means to switch the contractor without the entire car on and still monitor draw, etc. Costly. If the outboard unit were sold in mass units as it was designed it would make quite a bit of sense for many reasons and I bet it takes off some day in some form.

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planet4ever
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Re: An AC outlet in the car = value & utility added

Thu Jun 28, 2012 2:25 am

When our grandkids were young we took our RV to a city park for a birthday one year, and used its generator to power one of those inflated bounce houses the kids all love. It would be very cool to power that from the LEAF, and quite feasible with a 120v 15A outlet built into the car.

[Yeah, I wasn't nearly so eco-aware back in the '90s.]

Ray
End of April 2013: Traded my 2011 SL for a 2013 S with charge pkg.

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