Coming this year, Mitsubishi will sell a system that lets you share power between your home and electric car. Launched today at the Geneva Motor Show, the Dendo Drive House (DDH) features solar panels, a home battery, and a bi-directional charger that lets power flow from your home to your car, or from your car to your home — depending on the economics and which needs the power most. DDH supports cars like the Mitsubishi Engelberg Tourer that the company also announced at the show
There are a number of scenarios when having your car charge your home could be useful. In addition to opening up a world of off-grid living, it could also serve as a backup in the event of a power cut, for example. The system could also be useful if your electricity tariff offers you a discount during off-peak hours, when the electricity grid is under less load and cheaper to use as a result. For example, your car could inexpensively charge itself overnight, and then power your AC during the day. Of course, this will only work if you’re not planning on using the car to make any trips during that time.
The system supports both pure electric vehicles as well as plug-in hybrids like the new Engelberg Tourer and existing Outlander PHEV. Mitsubishi plans on offering both professional installation as well as maintenance services for the system as a package from its dealerships. Self-installation won’t be possible.
Mitsubishi is not the only company to have considered using a bi-directional car charger at home. In the UK, the energy supplier OVO announced a vehicle-to-grid (V2G) trial last year, although it lacked the home battery portion of Mitsubishi’s system. Tesla’s original Roadster also supported the functionality before it was removed in later models, and last year its CEO Elon Musk mused that the company could bring it back in the future.
However, while OVO’s system has only been offered on a trial basis to 1,000 households, and Tesla’s plans are currently just theoretical, Mitsubishi says its system will be available to buy later this year. Don’t expect the system to come cheap however. The bi-directional charger itself could cost as much as €10,000 (although Mitsubishi says it hopes to be able to sell it more cheaply), and you’ll also need to pay for the solar panels, home battery, and mandatory professional installation.