In a blackout, power your home with your car?

How your electric car could make a smarter power grid.

When millions of people in the eastern United States lost power for days earlier this month it's unlikely anyone thought about using their car to revive their electricity. Not that it would have mattered for this incident. But in the future, new technology could help power your house using an electric car during these emergencies.

It's technology that's already being sold in Tokyo by Nissan, ABC New reports. Known as LEAF to Home, an EV Power Supply System developed by Nichicon, this system can use the all-electric Nissan LEAF to power a residential home and vice versa. With a lithium-ion battery capacity of 24kW, the battery, on full charge, can power a typical Japanese home, which uses about 10-12kW of electricity per day, for about two days -- in the U.S. that number is around 30kW/day. Currently the innovative power station costs about 330,000 yen (over $4,000).

The system would come in handy during an emergency, but the product isn't just for those concerned with power loss. According to Nissan, your home could switch to the battery power in your car during peak electricity use. This would eleviate stress on the power grid and prevent blackouts and grid instability. Or, you could generate your own electricity with solar or wind power, store it in the car battery during the day, and use it to power your home in the evening.

Photo courtesy of Nissan

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com