Toyota Prius Plug-In Powers Home Four Times Longer than Nissan Leaf

Taking a step toward expanding what an electric vehicle can do, Toyota is experimenting with using a Prius as a home power generator. 

Already something we’ve seen from other companies, the Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid can transfer power in both directions: from home to car and vice versa. While that probably isn’t a practical application on a regular basis, the technology could serve to offer four days of power for most homes during blackout emergencies.

That stands in start contrast to the 24 hours Nissan said its Leaf could offer once it actually develops the technology to send power back from the car into the smart grid.

“An AC 100V inverter onboard the Prius converts stored power into AC suitable for home use, while power flow is controlled according to communication between vehicle, charging stand and home,” said Toyota in a release. “With this new method, low-carbon electricity generated from regional or home solar generators, or low-cost late-night electricity, can be stored in a vehicle’s drive battery and then used to supply power to the household during peak consumption times.”

Testing will begin on the technology in 10 Japanese homes by the end of the year with the hope that a system could be available in the near future.