Friday, June 8, 2012

Prius Plug-In: Saying Adios to Power Outages

2012 has certainly been the year of the Prius. Celebrating sales of over four million worldwide since 1997, Toyota's flagship hybrid vehicle has a growing family, consisting of the original model, the larger Prius V hatchback, the smaller Prius C, and most recently, the Prius Plug-In, a gas/electric hybrid which will see a wide-scale release in 2013.

To further innovate the brand, Toyota recently announced that they're working on a power system that will allow the Prius Plug-In, or PHV, to charge at home, or be used to provide electricity in the event of a home power failure. "An AC 100V inverter onboard the Prius converts stored power into AC suitable for home use, while power flow is controlled according to communication between vehicle, charging stand and home," according to representatives from Toyota. "With this new method, low-carbon electricity generated from regional or home solar generators, or low-cost late-night electricity, can be stored in a vehicle's drive battery and then used to supply power to the household during peak consumption times."

To that I say: nice! Despite living in such a technologically advanced, digital age, it's funny that something as simple as a rain storm can still cripple our ability to use electricity. With the PHV, Toyota estimates that a fully charged battery and tank of gas can power a Japanese home for about four days. Or in other words: long enough that you won't have to go running for the candles. 

The vehicle to home power system is going to initially be tested in ten Japanese homes at the end of this year. Will the technology eventually hit the United States? I certainly hope so. If all goes well, this could lead to future advances in controlling electricity between intelligent devices. Additionally, the benefit of transferring electricity from a car to a home could be a great asset in the event of a natural disaster. After all, not everyone has a generator handy, but if your car could act as a generator in a pinch, disaster recovery efforts could be greatly improved.

What do you think about Toyota's Vehicle to Home power system? Is this a step in the right direction? Should they be focused on making this technology accessible and affordable? 


  1. it is about time vehicle companies are marketing into co-generation lifestyles ... now as soon as Toyota builds a wind electric generator that mounts atop chimney's & exhaust fans, mounting wind power there will capture free electricity EVEN WHEN THE WIND DOES NOT BLOW 843-926-1750 @VoteLarryDis114

  2. we all need to become PRO-sumers producers who consume reducing the current number of fossil fuel poison plants & slow cancer nukes, solar on every unshaded roof top hydrogen engines to replace 99% of toxic fuel combustion will grow our economy 158% by 2050 @JillStein2012

  3. Thanks for the comments guys. I think this is definitely good progress towards reducing our carbon footprint.