Power to the People
February 19, 2014
Feb. 19, 2014 –
This winter – one of the worst on record – has left many people in the dark, literally, with millions experiencing power outages during the last few months. But what if a car, or parts of it, could provide power during an emergency? Toyota engineers are looking for “enlightened” ways to do just that.
Fuel Cell Connection
Toyota’s fuel cell vehicle will hit U.S. roads in 2015. Highly efficient while producing zero emissions, a fully fueled vehicle has enough juice to power a small house for a week in an emergency. Engineers are currently working to develop an external power supply device to connect the car to the house and help keep the lights on.
Powered by Prius (and Other Hybrids)
Toyota has millions of hybrids on the road around the world. From Prius to Highlander to Camry, they have one thing in common – batteries. In Japan, Toyota has given new life to those old hybrid battery packs as stationary power storage systems. In use since 2013, the units provide peak power to Toyota dealerships around the country.
And Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama (TMMAL) is now studying this used battery power system to help power their operations and provide back-up power during an emergency. As one of Toyota’s model sustainable North American plants, it’s fitting for TMMAL to be the first U.S. facility to flip this switch.