A common argument against electric vehicles is that they'll increase demand for carbon-producing electricity and cause brownouts during peak times. But what if plug-ins could actually prevent these outages by sending electricity from their batteries back to the grid?
It's an interesting concept dreamed up by engineers at the University of Technology Sydney. Combining their research on plug-in hybrids and electrical grids, they've developed "Switch," a plug-in Toyota Prius that acts as a sort of an energy reservoir that can give back to the grid whenever needed.
The Switch uses a 4.1 kWh lithium ion battery stored in the trunk to store extra electricity that is theoretically purchased during cheaper off-peak times. The extra battery also helps power the Prius' existing NiMH battery pack and raises fuel economy to 118 mpg. … Read more