Ice Storm Victim Improvises Prius-to-Home Energy Generator

A Massachusetts man – faced with no power in the recent ice storm, powered up the family Prius to create electricity: The hybrid car made enough electricity to run the essentials; the fridge, the lights, the TV, the wood-stove fan. During the power outage, it supplied 17 Kilowatt hours of energy to his home for three days.


How did he do it? The Harvard Press described how the hybrid’s battery ran the house essentials for electrical engineer John Sweeney and family. He dug up an inverter which made 120v AC from 12v DC current and he wired it into the hybrid electric Prius, creating V2G technology on the fly.

V2G; vehicle to grid technology – is what will make it possible to reduce the amount of new power that we would otherwise need to add to the grid, because electric cars can act as rolling storage batteries to supply emergency extra electric power.

As such, V2G is of great interest to utlities and state governors seeking to reduce expenses and NIMBY issues associated with building more power stations. Vehicle to Grid technology reduces the need to build more power stations, by evening out grid loads; by swapping power back and forth as needed between electric vehicles and the grid.

But we don’t call it V2G when it’s your electric Prius powering your home, of course; the correct technical acronym is P2H; Prius2Home.

Last year the NYT reported on a similar case of another disaster victim powering his home in the same way; but this one employed his P2H power during a hurricane.

Related stories:

Electric Car Plows 4 Feet of Snow!

Boring Electric Car Still Coming in 2010

Photo of electrical damage in an ice storm by WindsurfGirl

Via NYT Green Inc