Electric cars and emergency planning
Batteries in the latest electric vehicles (EVs) could provide solutions to emergency power issues in towns and cities. In Amsterdam, batteries
from Nissan's LEAF models, which have a projected life of ten years, are being
used to back-up the city's power supplies.
This raises the possibility of the same batteries being used by local communities in the event of power cuts.
Political pressure on major car manufacturers to switch to
electric vehicles (EVs) has stimulated the development of new battery
technologies to enable cars to go further between charging breaks.
The mobility of car batteries, as they are already mounted on a vehicle, enable them to be deployed quickly and easily in an emergency to buildings where electric power is critical, such as care homes, GP practices and private residences where the occupants may depend on electrically-operated stairlifts or dialysis equipment.
Batteries could be a less expensive and more flexible alternative to the traditional generator which depends on a supply of fossil fuels.
The rate at which battery technology is advancing means such uses may be only a few years' away. The challenge will be to find practical ways in which local councils can make use of this technology.