Nissan plans to donate 47 LEAFs and LEAF-to-Home power supply systems to roadside rest area stations (called michi-no-eki) in all of Japan’s 47 prefectures. The idea is that each LEAF, paired with a LEAF-to-Home power supply system, can be used as a backup power source in emergency situations, and will also help stabilize the electrical grid by charging with electricity generated during the night or sourced from solar panels, and supplying it to homes during peak hours.
The michi-no-eki network in Japan has three functions: a rest area for travelers; an information source for local residents and road users; and a community center at which towns hold activities. As the stations are often located alongside important arterial roads, they sometimes serve as bases of operations during natural disasters.
In the event of a natural disaster, michi-no-eki road stations will function as evacuation centers for local residents or bases for support activities, with the LEAF’s 24 kWh lithium-ion batteries supplying emergency power. The donated Nissan LEAFs can also be used to transport the elderly and expectant mothers to the roadside stations’ stores.