Prius Saves The Day!

The East Coast States have been hit very hard with terrible snow storms this week causing power outages and other problems. John Sweeney, among others, was without electricity for 3 full days. Responding to this electric outage situation with Yankee ingenuity, Mr. Sweeney connected a power inverter to his Prius' battery and used his hybrid as a generator.

According to the Harvard Press newspaper, Mr. Sweeney “ran his refrigerator, freezer, TV, woodstove fan and several lights through his Prius, for three days, on roughly five gallons of gas.” I wonder if that came out cheaper than what he would have paid the electric company?

Mr. Sweeney sent an e-mail message to the newspaper saying: “When it looked like we were going to be without power for awhile, I dug out an inverter (which takes 12v DC and creates 120v AC from it) and wired it into our Prius.”

The newspaper reported that, “the device allowed the engine to run every half hour, automatically charging the car battery and indirectly supplying the required power.”

This development may not be as strange as it sounds. Mr. Sweeney’s ingenuity fits in with the “smart grid” technology that many utility companies and other experts foresee in the future. The idea is that an electric car battery — a plug-in, can feed power back to the electricity grid. Of course, the owner will be paid for the electricity by the electric company.

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