It may be hidden behind a fuzzy grey triangular panel in the trunk, but the 2016 Toyota Mirai fuel-cell car offers a novel and innovative feature that could let it power your home for a day or two in the event of an emergency.
Toyota executives say they haven’t decided whether to offer the power-out capability on the 200 Mirais that will be sold in the U.S. next year.
A power-out jack and associated energy station, not currently offered on any passenger cars, would likely offer a unique selling proposition that underscores the Mirai’s ability to generate emission-free electricity–and quite a lot of it too.
The energy capacity of the fuel-cell vehicle’s 5 kilograms of hydrogen, compressed at 10,000 psi, is more than 150 kilowatt-hours.
While a portion of that energy is lost in the conversion from hydrogen to electricity, the Toyota press materials say that’s enough to power a household for up to seven days.
That would like not be a typical U.S. household–using 32 kWh a day–but a typical Japanese one, at a considerably more modest 10 kWh.
The plug itself uses a CHAdeMO connector, and would connect to an energy station that converts the high-voltage direct current from the Mirai’s fuel cell into the 100-volt alternating current used in Japanese buildings.