Mitsubishi i can power stop lights

Release Date: Partial Rollout in 2012
MSRP: ES Trim $29,125US, SE Trim $31,125US
Battery Pack Size: 16 kWh
Electric Range: 62 miles (EPA rated)
MPGe: 112 MPGe
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Post distaster areas, like Japan after the earthquake/tsunami/nuclear disaster, have already seen electric vehicles being used to power houses in the same manner a backup generator would. Japan decided to take it one step further in the city of Tokyo. A group of engineers from Mitsubishi and the National Police Agency connected a fully-charged Mitsubishi i to a portable emergency power inverter using the Mitsubishi i’s Chademo DC quick charging point.

Power drawn from the 16kWh battery pack in the Mitsubishi i was able to power 20 sets of stop lights for 2 hours in downtown Tokyo. While powering stoplights may seem like a strange thing to waste power on post-disaster, it could allow traffic and emergency vehicles to flow more smoothly helping things return to normal faster.

More likely, electric companies could use the Mitsubishi i to power stop lights while performing maintenance work that requires them to shut power down to a small area. This would eliminate the need for gasoline powered generators that they currently use for such tasks.

A few questions come to mind:

  • Why don’t power companies just tow around a rechargeable power pack to power stop lights?
  • Was the group of engineers able to drive home afterwards or were they stranded because the Mitsubishi i’s battery pack was completely drained?

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