Toyota to offer onboard generator option for hybrids sold in Japan
03 November 2011
Drawing on experience gained in the aftermath of the March earthquake and tsunami that devastated parts of eastern Japan, Toyota will introduce a 1.5kW power supply option for the Japan-market Prius within about half a year, and will expand the option to other hybrids in the near future.
The decision was spurred by feedback from Toyota Estima HV hybrid owners, who used the vehicle’s existing onboard power supply system to charge mobile phones and maintain communication during the extended blackouts that followed the earthquake. The Estima is a minivan that Toyota currently produces exclusively for its domestic market.
Toyota will donate and retrofit the power supply system to about 40 Prius hybrids owned by the Tohoku Prefecture. The system can provide power to a Japanese household for about two days on a full tank of fuel, according to the company.
Last year, Toyota announced an advanced household energy management system that integrated prototype Prius plug-in hybrids with smart grid-capable homes designed and constructed by Toyota Housing Corporation (earlier post).
Ever so gradually the world is turning towards reasonableness, and i'm glad to see that Toyota is part of the turn. I have felt for a long time that the only reasonable setup for an electric vehicle is one with an onboard generator. Certainly the cost of this is many millions lower than the taxpayer money government is wasting on charging stations.
Posted by: citizen | 03 November 2011 at 11:44 AM
Two-way e-link between electrified vehicles and private homes should be a low cost option in the near future. Very soon, many BEVs will have 100+ Kwh battery pack capable of supplying an average size home with e-power for up to 10 days, during extended power failures, without using liquid fuel. Another definite major advantage from future extended range BEVs.
Posted by: HarveyD | 03 November 2011 at 11:48 AM
HarveyD: Please define "Very soon", and show a reasonable back of the envelope calculation as to how you arrived at this number.
Posted by: TM | 04 November 2011 at 12:15 AM
@citizen - you're on the right track. But it's a bit larger than you're thinking. Toyota's onboard genset and the Japanese earthquake all spell a major wake up call for the old school power grid and Company.
Centralized power is the big fail here. Single source power plants, terrorists, earthquakes, hurricanes, severe electrical storms - are all major threats. With the advent of low cost CHP power appliances - all these threats are eliminated. How? Stand by. Reel Energy Independence is on the way:
Posted by: Reel$$ | 04 November 2011 at 01:05 AM
TM...Toyota claimed that by 2015 (i.e. soon) they will produce a Solid State battery pack with enough stored energy to drive a BEV for 1000 Km between charges. Simple calculations indicate that such battery pack would have to be between 100 Kwh and 140 Kwh. Using an average of 120 Kwh or about 100 Kwh available, that would be enough for a normal home for 10 days at 10 Kwh/day.
Of course, all electric homes would need at lease twice as much energy or two such BEVs for 10 days or one BEV for 5 days.
Such interconnection should cost a lot less than the current price for a 10 Kw noisy ICE driven emergency generator (installed).
Alternatively, one 10 Kwh (A. Rossi E-Cat + e-generator) per home would also do the job for extended periods but could (if ever available) cost many times more.
Posted by: HarveyD | 04 November 2011 at 07:30 AM
Right Harvey. But I suspect the development cycle will see BEV batteries improve dramatically just to compete with LENR energy. They likely will rule since the e-cat requires long warmup (like an SOFC!) to reach nominal operating temp. And solid state storage is far less trouble-prone than heater-Stirling or steam turbine.
We are seeing the beginning of an entirely new Epic here on planet Earth (?) and pretty soon EP's gonna be glad no one took his bet!
Resistance is futile.
Posted by: Reel$$ | 04 November 2011 at 03:30 PM
I vote for future 45% (Sharp) solar cells and lower cost Solid State batteries and/or other high performance lower cost future e-storage units.
If 100+ M homes were so equipped, together with 2+ BEVs per family, it would solve USA's energy/pollution problems.
Posted by: HarveyD | 06 November 2011 at 09:41 AM