Power Out? I-MiEV Keeps The Ice Cream Frozen

An electric car as a source of power? That’s the idea behind a new product from automaker Mitsubishi. Recently announced from the corporation’s Tokyo headquarters, Mitsubishi is planning to release a power feeder called the MiEV Power Box that works in conjunction with, you might have already guessed, the company’s all-electric i-MiEV.

Mitsubishi says the device was designed so that electric car drivers would be able to power electrical devices away from home, or keep things running at home if the power supply is interrupted. Essentially, what we’re talking here is a tool that allows you to use your car as a generator in a pinch.

Mitsubishi i

image copyright EarthTechling

The MiEV Power BOX is a single-socket, 100-volt AC unit with a maxium power output of 1,500 watts. If connected to the i-MiEV’s fully charged 16 kilowatt-hour battery, the power feed can supply 1,500 watts of power for up to six hours—the same amount, according to Mitsubishi, that an average Japanese home consumes in a single day.

Given the terrible earthquake and tsunami that struck the country last year, combined with a smart-grid system that is progressing to be ever-more inclusive, the idea of having miniature, potentially mobile, power sources during times of trouble could be comforting. The car’s battery could, for example, power an electric heater or portable stove, provide a way to charge phones or computers, and perhaps equipment like a GPS device or radio.

The price of such peace of mind with your electric vehicle power feeder is roughly $1,800, however, that’s only if the device ever comes to America. The MiEV Power BOX is scheduled to be release on April 27 in Japan, at around 150,000 yen,  and there’s no word yet if such a device will be available stateside anytime soon.

Aaron Colter is a freelance writer and marketing consultant in Portland, Oregon. A graduate of Purdue University, he has worked for the NCAA, Dark Horse Comics, Willamette Week, AOL, The Huffington Post, Top Shelf Productions, DigitalTrends, theMIX agency, SuicideGirls, EarthTechling, d'Errico Studios and others. He is also the co-founder of BananaStandMedia.com, a free record label, recording studio, and distribution service for independent musicians.