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A Prius plus this could power your home during a power outage

Some new EVs boast the ability to act as an emergency power source at home. But what if you could do the same with your existing hybrid?

PlugOut Power has been selling such hardware for almost 10 years and it claims to be the first commercial aftermarket high voltage inverter to offer V2L or V2H. Under the former name of ConVerdant Vehicles LLC, the company provided accessory kits that turned a Toyota Prius into a emergency generator. Now, PlugOut Power has an updated version that it claims is compatible with most Toyota and Lexus hybrids and plug-in hybrids.

The PlugOut-5 is a 5 kW inverter that can draw power from a hybrid battery pack to run appliances, lights, televisions and well pumps, or even charge a 48-volt solar battery after prolonged cloudy weather. , the company claims.

Toyota Prius 2020

Toyota Prius 2020

Depending on the vehicle model, after installation, the inverter can be plugged into the car AC outlet. Many new vehicles have these sockets, but in Toyota/Lexus hybrids the engine operates only as much as it needs to generate more power. PlugOut Power claims the hybrid system generates between 50% and 100% more electricity per gallon than a conventional generator. Running a Toyota/Lexus hybrid is also quieter, estimated at 60 decibels.

According to the company, with a full tank of fuel, owners will get three days of power generation with an average of 1 kW. Just be aware that this may void your battery warranty, so it’s best to opt for this solution over an older hybrid vehicle.

Lexus NX 2021 (NX300h hybrid)

Lexus NX 2021 (NX300h hybrid)

This is a smaller scale solution than the Ford F-150 Lightning home power backup system, which includes an 80-amp Charge Station Pro and Home Integration System inverter and battery pack. Ford says the Lightning’s 131 kwh Extended Range pack can provide enough power to run large homes for days.

But PlugOut Power’s kit competes with Hyundai’s truck V2L (V2L) system, which delivers 3.6 kW of power output. in Ioniq 5. And technology like this helps pave the way for two-way charging to turn future electric vehicles into home power bankopens up a new dimension in home energy.

However, using PlugOut for an older hybrid makes a lot of financial sense. The 5-kw kit weighs about 70 pounds and costs $2,595, while the 4-kw kit costs $1,995—not including shipping and any installation costs in fitting the pigtail cable to the hybrid battery.

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