Solar energy and lithium-ion batteries: Sanyo now builds "green" homes in Japan


Sanyo is already being considered Japan’s “greenest” brand in the consumer electronics field (which is the main reason Panasonic is about to acquire the company), but them building complete, eco-friendly buildings is certainly new. Sanyo Homes [JP], a wholly-owned subsidiary, will start marketing all-electric homes with lithium ion batteries providing back up power to Japanese customers as early as tomorrow. (Sorry for the tiny picture, which shows a CGI-model of how these houses look like.)

Each house will be equipped with a 3.78kw solar energy system. But buyers will also get 1.57kw Sanyo lithium ion batteries to make sure they’ll have access to eco-friendly energy during the night or during days without enough sunlight. Sanyo Homes says that each of their houses will come with ten LED light fixtures running on direct-current power to minimize energy loss and a solar-powered heat-pump water heater.

The company expects these extras to boost the prices for their homes to some extent, but says buyers will be able to recoup the initial plus in investment over time and will also get financial from the Japanese government. A 132sqm Sanyo home, for example, will sell for $355,000, which is $62,000 more than a comparable conventional one (but only eco-friendly homes will get government subsidies, in this case $30,000).

Via Nikkei [registration required, paid subscription]