A car and emergency power supply all in one
The more we rely on electric power, the more vulnerable we become when there is a grid power outage. Is that an argument against the development of electric cars? ‘We won’t even be able to recharge our car batteries during a power outage,’ critics say.
A small California-based company, AC Propulsion, has turned this potential disadvantage into an advantage. It has developed battery systems for cars that can be charged by plugging into the house mains as well as delivering electricity back to the house. That would make it possible to run lights, the freezer and even electric heaters off the energy stored in the car.
And if these battery systems are used in a plug-in hybrid vehicle, they can be paired with the car’s gasoline engine to recharge the batteries. So you will still be able to drive if necessary during, or immediately after, a power outage.
Article 'Electric Cars: What Happens When the Power's Out?' in the MIT Technology Review