Use a Prius as Aux. A/C Power Generator

We saw a story about someone that claims to have hooked up their Prius' electric motor batteries, through a AC Converter of some type, that converts the 200+ DC volts in the Prius main batteries into 240 (or 110?) AC power that can be feed into your house.

See the following URL: http://www.wikihow.com/Use-a-Toyota-Prius-As-a-Backup-Generator

Reading it here vs. having someone really "tell all" about doing this for real, including the sources for the converters, etc. is what is missing.

We have occasional power outages and our house gets cold in Washington State. Using our Prius' ability to self-regulate it's batteries seems like a great idea on getting more value out of this car.

Come on your tinkering experts.... show us how to really do this.


God that's an awful wikihow, could they be any more general? And how much does a "commercial strength UPS" cost, and connect the Prius's 200V battery to the UPS battery? That's a real WTF! Also there is nothing 'special' about th Prius battery, it's 6.5 AH at 200 volts or 1.3 KWH My truck has a 100AH battery at 12 V, that's 1.2 KWH Here's how I did it when I was with out power for two weeks in '04. Step one. Buy a truck $20,000 Step Two Buy a 1KW inverter $79.99 Hook inverter to battery, attach extension cords to invertor, attach appliances to extension cords. Turn on appliances. When the low battery warning sounds go turn on truck until battery is recharged.
Some of these Wikihows are a bit caccy. And some of them end up being republished verbatim on this site...

You might agree that buying a static diesel generator might be cheaper than the full truck? You could run it on biodiesel!

But I already had the truck, and I can't run priuses over with a generator. ;-)
lemonie8 years ago
A UPS will take mains AC convert to DC to charge batteries, which in the event of the mains feed being interrupted with feed out mains AC through an inverter.

In theory if you connect the Prius to the inverter you are simply using the Prius battery instead of the UPS battery.

For information on the Prius battery, see here

As far as I've been able to ascertain so far, UPS batteries are 12V, so I'm doubtful that the Wikihow idea has actually been realised.

The image is a Hewlett Packard 3000VA UPS battery. It's made up of sealed lead-acid batteries and looks to be wired parallel in two banks