Last year's East Coast power outages caused by Hurricane Sandy illustrated just how much we rely on electricity in our daily lives.
Virtually everything we rely on day to day requires power. No power means no hot water for washing, no refrigerated food, and often, no way of cooking.
After the storm, we reported on one individual who used his Toyota Prius as a generator to power items in his house.
Now, another is selling kits to enable any Prius owner to do the same--perhaps giving them days of extra power should a storm like Sandy ever strike again.
ConVerdant Vehicles, LLC. already sells kits to turn hybrids into plug-in hybrids--but its 'Plug-Out Kit' lets owners convert their hybrid into an emergency power generator.
ConVerdant owner Randy Bryan told Autoblog Green that sales of the kit rose sharply during and after Sandy.
According to the company, using the Prius (or another hybrid) as a generator is more efficient than having a separate unit, thanks to the way in which hybrids work. The efficient gasoline engine only kicks in when required, rather than running constantly. That's before you take into account its low emissions and low noise levels.
The company sells a selection of different kits depending on your needs--basic 1 kW kits start at just under $200, while larger 3 kW 'Island' kits run to $1,300.
Provided your hybrid survives hurricane winds and flooding itself, such kits could be a no-brainer for those likely to be affected by blackouts after heavy storms.