You know how sometimes you hear about an idea that seems so obvious you kick yourself for not being the one to think of it first?
That’s what happened to me when I read this story about a professor at the University of Delaware who has stripped apart a Scion xB and converted it to an electric vehicle capable of hitting 90 mph and going 120 miles between charges.
The rise in popularity of electric cars is happening fast, and begins to beg the question of how many electric vehicles the country’s electrical grid can handle. While we’re still years away from having enough electric cars to cause a serious drain on the grid, it’s a valid question.
Enter Professor Willett Kempton, whose Scion doesn’t only consume electric energy, it gives it back.
The battery in the car works two ways, receiving energy and then returning stored electricity back to the grid. As an added bonus, the car can serve as an emergency energy source in case of a power outage; it’s a drivable generator. Get a few million of these babies in people’s garages and suddenly the United States has an innovative energy storage system that can provide a backup to the country’s taxed energy grid.
Down the road, it’s even possible for customers with these cars to receive checks from the power companies in reimbursement for storing energy; money that over time could end up paying for the car itself.
See? It’s an idea that makes so much sense I know I could’ve thought of it. But I guess it took a professor to actually build it!
Does a two-way electric car have any effect on what you think about electric vehicles? If they were affordable and available, would you own one?