Toyota to Use Prius as Electric Generator for Japan Households

You know those little train sets you used to have as a kid? They usually come with an alternative current to continuous current converter that you could use to power every other electric motor in a toy. Well, innovation like that but on a more serious note can come from the automotive world as well.

Last week we told you that Nissan wants to use defunct LEAF batteries to store electric solar energy, and now Toyota wants to use the Prius and Estima Hybrid minivan as a generator for households in Japan, where full power availability has not been established yet after the devastating tsunami that struck the country.

It all started with the minivan, which a number of folks found to be an effective electric generator that runs on gasoline, claiming that it was invaluable during the extended blackouts in Japan.

The Big T took notice, and is now planning to make the same system more widely available. It will offer the system as an option on the Prius hybrid within the next year, with more models to follow after.

A year is a long time, so Toyota will retrofit the system to some 40 cars already in service, which will be used as emergency vehicles in the Tohoku prefectures.

The cars will provide 1,500 watts of power, so you won’t be able to use bigger appliances, but it should be enough for lighting and some kitchen appliances.
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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