Power inverters have been available for years now, and they make it possible to provide power to equipment and devices on a regular 120 volt circuit. In a typical vehicle, the inverter takes 12 V DC current input, and provides 120 V AC current. Laptops, radios, and even televisions can run off this kind of device.
In case of a power outage in your home, you have some tough choices to make, especially if everything in your house runs on electricity. Electric stoves and heating systems cease to function, but if you have a gasoline-powered backup generator, you can keep warm and well-fed for just the price of gasoline.
Toyota has just introduced a new option for the Prius Hybrid and Prius Plug-In Hybrid, which effectively turns them into backup generators for your home. Seeing as Prius hybrids already come with an inverter, the price of the factory-installed option doesn’t add too much to the cost of the vehicle.
The Prius’ option is $787, and installs standard outlets in the front and rear of the vehicle. The Prius Plug-In’s option goes for $1,179, and uses a special adapter in the charging port. The system is rated at 1,500W and 100V, which is enough to run a refrigerator, lights, television, radio, laptop, network, and cell phones.
The Prius version was released on the 22nd this month, and the Prius Plug-In version will be available November 1, 2012.