PG&E Unveils Prototype Hybrid Car

Monday, April 09, 2007

It may sound like a fantasy, but it's fact: a car that can power your house! The technology is being unveiled today by PG&E at an alternative energy event in Sunnyvale.

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. today unveiled a prototype new hybrid car that could be used to power its owner's home during blackouts or times of high power cost.

The car uses Vehicle-to-Grid, known as V2G, technology. The technology turns the vehicle, a modified Toyota Prius, into an electricity storage system that can be plugged in to a standard wall outlet, both to charge its batteries and with the flip of a switch to add its own stored power to the grid.

"PG&E is committed to meeting the challenges associated with climate change by developing and bringing innovative alternative-fuel technologies to our customers," PG&E Vice President Bob Howard said. "V2G represents the best of these technologies because it intersects the transportation and utility sectors -- the nation's two largest contributors of greenhouse gases -- to increase energy reliability and protect the environment."

A lithium ion battery was added to the Prius increasing its gas mileage substantially and, during a demonstration in Sunnyvale this morning before the Silicon Valley leadership Group, allowing it to run several lights and appliances.

"PG&E's V2G demonstration marks an important milestone for plug-in vehicle technology," founder Felix Kramer said. "Using a grid-connected car's battery as distributed energy storage for homes or businesses expands the economic and environmental benefits of plug-in vehicles."

PG&E officials did not release a schedule of when the V2G technology would be available to the general public.

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