So it seems there is another advantage to owning a hybrid! It can double as an emergency generator in case of a blackout:
WHERE WAS YOUR HYBRID WHEN THE LIGHTS WENT OUT?
Ever been caught with no power in the midst of a winter storm and not have a generator? Well, if you have a hybrid, you may not need one. An enterprising Boston man hooked up his house to his Toyota Prius recently during a three-day-long power outage. The Boston Herald reports: “John Sweeney of Harvard, Mass., has provided a tantalizing glimpse of the future. … Sweeney, an electrical engineer, told the Boston Business Journal he used an inverter to convert direct current from the car battery to 120-volt alternating current for the refrigerator, freezer, the fan for a wood stove, television and some lights. The car ran for a few minutes every half an hour and ‘burned about five gallons of gas’ while producing about 17 kilowatt-hours, Sweeney said.” Of course, this may be a bit over the heads of those of us who are not Harvard electrical engineers … Several cities and states around the U.S. have had promising developments on the hybrid and electric car front recently. San Jose debuted its first electric car charging station earlier this week. As of the start of 2009, New Jersey “will now implement the California Low Emission Vehicle program that ‘requires that more hybrid cars be sold in New Jersey’ and ‘also requires automakers to sell zero-emission cars in the state by 2011.'” And New York Governor Paterson announced a new initiative on hybrid car production and research earlier this week. It’s great to see so many state and local initiatives leading the way towards decreasing greenhouse gas emissions … And, via the Washington Times Out of Context, we learn that Toyota is secretly developing car powered by cells on the roof. Initially, the solar cells would just power some of the cars battery and accessories but the automaker hopes the car could eventually be powered completely by energy from the sun ..
(recieved via unsolicited email from Hybrid Owners of America)