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The Prius has a new use, and it does not involve driving. The Harvard Press — which serves the Massachusetts town of Harvard as opposed to the university — reported that the car’s battery helped keep the lights on for some locals during the recent ice storms. The newspaper reports that John Sweeney, a resident who lost power, “ran his refrigerator, freezer, TV, woodstove fan and several lights through his Prius, for three days, on roughly five gallons of gas.” Said Mr. Sweeney, in an e-mail message to The Press: “When it looked like we were going to be without power for awhile, I dug out an inverter (which takes 12v DC and creates 120v AC from it) and wired it into our Prius.”
John Sweeney, of Harvard, Massachusetts, was among the many residents of Eastern Mass without power after a big ice storm hit on December 12th. Sweeney, an electrical engineer, saw his Prius as the answer. Using an inverter, he converted the DC power coming out of the car into AC power for his house. Though he couldn't run his entire house one his one car, they were able to get approximately 17 Kilowatt hours of energy. This was enough to power his refrigerator/freezer, television, lights, wood stove fan and accessories for a few days. Although anyone can use a regular DC power supply, like the battery found in a non-Hybrid car, but a hybrid is ideal.