With all the storms that hit South Florida, and especially crazy hurricanes like Dorian that left everyone in an anxious fit, one would think there would be some sort of disaster transportation unit to help. Yes, there are many organizations out there like the Red Cross and FEMA, but they can only do so much to help. Why isn’t the government stepping up? Why aren’t local businesses doing their part? Maybe it’s just the way it is, but our neighbors in the east are changing things – Mitsubishi Motors especially. Signing their second agreement with Shizuoka Prefecture and four affiliated dealers in the prefecture, Mitsubishi Motors Corp (MMC) and the aforementioned parties have agreed to provide services and units during disasters and disaster recovery. They do this through the use of their Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, and Dendo Drive House technology.
Does anyone remember the Dendo Drive House presentation by Mitsubishi during the 2019 International Geneva Motor Show? That was something else. Mitsubishi took their neutral-energy project with ENGIE and Hitachi Europe and downsized it into the size of a house. ENGIE, a Building Energy Management System (BEMS) outfitted with solar panels that collect and store energy in the building’s electric grid for use throughout the day was one part of the equation. When the building runs out of power, either due to longer winter nights or an emergency situation, through the use of a bi-directional vehicle-to-everything V2X charger from Hitachi, ENGIE is able to stay powered. This is because ENGIE is also able to collect and store excess energy converted through the V2X charger to charge up the Outlander PHEV and then take that energy back when necessary.
Same concept with the disaster cooperation agreement between MMC and Shizuoka Prefecture. Their agreement starts September 2019, but MMC has been working with companies to do this since 2012 when they signed a disaster cooperation agreement with Kyoto Prefecture, its local dealer, and two other partner companies to provide similar services and Outlander PHEV units to local governments in affected areas following a disaster. One day soon, MMC plans to sign agreements with other local governments including Okayama Pref., Kurashiki City and Soja City in Okayama, Gifu Pref., and Wakayama Pref. so that across Japan, they may implement the DENDO Community Support Program and expand the disaster support system while also utilizing and promoting the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.
It’s great for publicity and also does a lot of public good. After the Great East Japan Earthquake, Kumamoto Earthquake, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, with its twin motor 4WD system and ability to store electricity generated by the engine, helped transport supplies and personnel, as well as supply power to devices during disaster recovery. Imagine if automakers could do that down here in South Florida. Or even auto dealers, putting together disaster recovery units where an entire fleet of vehicles capable of handling dangerous driving conditions as well as able to tow and carry huge payloads are dispatched following, say, a hurricane.
What do you think of the Mitsubishi Motors disaster recovery plan in Japan? Would you like to see something similar here in the states? Join the discussion on Miami Lakes Mitsubishi social media.