A new jolt for electric cars?

  • Electric car recharging

Electric cars are known to save on gas, but can they also be used to power electrical appliances during a blackout? Well strange as that may sound, that is precisely what electric car owners living in Japan did with their vehicles when the infamous earthquake and tsunami rocked their country a couple of years ago. Of course, the resourcefulness of these electric car owners was not lost on Mitsubishi and Nissan motor engineers, who are looking at expanding the 100 watt discharge capacity of their present vehicles to allow them to increase their output to a hefty 1,500 watts of electrical juice. With this new capability, electric car salesmen hope to expand their market to campers, outdoorsmen and other folks who might look at their car beyond just its usefulness in driving.

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About the Author: Craig Rucker

Craig Rucker is the executive director and co-founder of CFACT.

  • jameshrust

    We have to convert AC to DC when we charge batteries for electric cars. If we use battery energy to power houselhold appliances in an emergency, we will have to convert DC to AC. Their are energy losses in making these conversions. I have not come up with a number yet; but I suspect it might be 10 percent. This makes it a loser to use your car batteries in this fashion.

    • Erik L

      Well, this was used during the power cut, so a 10 % loss (which sounds like a pretty reasonable estimation) would not be that bad compared to, for example, a domestic petrol-driven generator. Not to mention that since most households do not own one of those, the car might just be a fine power reserve. =)