Most people want a hybrid car to save gas and reduce pollution, but a prototype plug-in electric vehicle does all that and keeps your home's lights and fridge going in a power outage. The car, a retooled Prius developed by Pacific Gas and Electric and Energy CS, has an outsize battery that's compatible with a 220-volt household outlet (the kind an electric stove uses). Once plugged into the home grid, an owner need only flip a trunk inverter switch to access emergency power for several hours. (The battery stores 9 kilowatts, whereas the average house uses about 16 kilowatts a day.) When will this hit showrooms? A consumer model is still about 10 to 15 years away. So for now, keep on stocking the canned goods and flashlights. Learn more at The California Cars.
Car That Doubles as a Backup Generator for Your House
A California utility develops a plug-in hybrid that keeps the house lights on for you