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Man powers home using a Toyota Prius during storm blackout

An ex-mechanic used his Toyota Prius to power his house during a storm blackout.

A man who was once an American Air Force mechanic used his car to power his home for nine hours during a storm blackout. Bob Osemlack, who lives in Toronto, wired the battery of his Toyota Prius to an outlet he’d fashioned from his fireplace. 

Mr Osemlack was among thousands who were left without power in their homes when ice storms hit Toronto in December. But Osemlack used his vehicle’s electricity supply to heat and illuminate his home, and even tune into his television and radio. 

He explained: “When the furnace comes on, and the house gets up to temperature, I go to the thermostat and shut the furnace off. Now I can plug something else in: the TV, the fridge, or the floor lamp.”

As for cost, the nine hours of power used only cost Osemlack four litres of petrol, due to to the inherently efficient way in which the engine generates electricity to charge the battery. Osemlack has said he will now ensure his Toyota remains fully charged in case of another storm. 

Don’t think about following his axample, however. Toyota says: “The car isn’t designed to be used as a power source for home use. Interestingly, there have been plenty of rumour stories surrounding the upcoming Prius 4 that hint that the vehicle will have just such a facility. For example, the battery can be used as a home power source during emergencies such as earthquakes and freak weather.” 

 

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