Solar power is remarkable, but it's unstable. Is it a clear day or did the clouds just roll in? The power is always in flux. That's why many solar panel owners choose to buy big batteries to store and sip energy all the time. But what if your electric vehicle could also be your home battery? What if your electric car could power your house? Now, it can.
Beginning this year in Japan and Europe, Mitsubishi is going to start selling what it calls the Dendo Drive House. It's a solar platform, installed by professionals, that includes solar panels, a home battery, and a charger. And this home solar rig is also compatible with Mitsubishi's electric and hybrid cars, like the newly announced Engleberg Tourer SUV–which is a four-wheel drive plug-in hybrid that can run 43 miles on its battery alone. The promise is that when solar power is plentiful (or even when grid energy is cheaper, like it is in some areas at night), you can charge up both your home and car battery. And when it's not? If you'd prefer not to buy energy from the electric company–or if you're just living through a power outage–you can manually drain your car battery as extra backup.