‘The Reborn Light’ sounds like something award winning author of high fantasy, the late Robert Jordan, might have written. In reality, this project is anything but fiction. In association with its affiliate (4R Energy Corporation) Nissan has brought life and light back to the streets of the tsunami-struck town of Namie, Japan, using reclaimed LEAF batteries.
With the proliferation of electronic vehicles, ever more creative (and even crucial) uses are being found for reclaimed EV-batteries. These batteries, although they may no longer be able to launch a LEAF from 0 to a 100 in 7.9 seconds, still have more than enough oomph to light up the night. By combining the existing LEAF battery with a fit-to-function solar panel and pairing it with a purpose-built street lamp design, Nissan has done just that.
These street lamps are complete stand-alone constructions and are not connected in any way, shape or form to Namie’s powergrid. A point very eloquently made by Nissan’s video announcement of the project. In the video, Nissan’s spokesperson delivers the good news from under the welcoming halo of one of these street lamps. As the camera pans out, over the course of the wordy speech, the street lamp is revealed as a single, bright pinprick of light on a deserted coastline hilltop. (We sincerely hope the spokesperson had a lift back to town.)
Namie was one of several coastal Japanese towns to be impacted by the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake/tsunami disaster, which also caused the Fukushima nuclear meltdown, resulting in a general evacuation. As recently as 2016, aftershocks of this devastating underwater earthquake have been recorded.
The small town of Namie is also home to the Nissan Battery Reclamation factory, a fact which has put the residents in prime position to benefit from the Reborn Light project. In an area of such tectonic instability, one can only trust that the application of reclaimed EV batteries will branch out to meet other emergency measures as well. Nissan’s next project may very well entail stand-alone power systems for emergency services (such as hospitals, police- and fire stations); portable space heaters and powered survival kits.
Only time will tell.
For now, do your part to support the people of Namie. Support Nissan. Book a test drive today.