Japanese carmaker Mitsubishi Motors has unveiled the Dendo Drive House – a residential solar-plus-storage product which can charge electric or hybrid cars and will be commercially available in Japan and Europe this year.
The solution, presented at the Geneva International Motor Show, is intended to include electric vehicles in an energy infrastructure composed of a small home PV and battery system and a bi-directional charger.
The Dendo was modelled using data harvested from 190,000 drivers of Mitsubishi’s Outlander PHEV, a plug-in hybrid electric SUV as well as several pilot projects related to EVs and vehicle-to-everything (V2X) technologies, the Japanese carmarker said.
The Drive House offer, which includes installation and component maintenance, is said to reduce electricity bills and fuel costs while providing an emergency power source. Power generated by the solar panel can also be used for domestic appliances through a smart management system, Mitsubishi said. The Dendo Drive House enables overnight EV charging to take advantage of cheaper grid electricity and can also draw power from the vehicle.
Alliance keeps investing in EV and battery development
Mitsubishi, which has also been active in solar and storage for years, is part of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance which was launched in March 1999 and was the third largest automobile group worldwide in 2017. From 2010 to 2017 the alliance sold around 500,000 electric vehicles and the partnership has devoted around €4 billion to EV and battery development programs.
The alliance has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons of late, however, with chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn arrested over claims of financial misconduct in November. Since then several attempts have been made to restructure the partnership, including the creation of a single decision-making board to oversee governance and operations.
The Mitsubishi i-MiEV, launched in 2009, is the Japanese manufacturer’s most popular electric car and was one of the first mass-produced modern EVs on the market.