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Published Date: 21/01/2015

ToyotaA former American Air Force mechanic used his Toyota Prius to power his home for nine hours during a blackout caused by freak weather in December, according to AOL news.

Bob Osemlack wired his Toyota Prius battery up to an outlet he’d fashioned from his own fireplace after ice storms laid siege to his hometown of Toronto just before Christmas.

Thousands of residents in Canada’s biggest city were left without electricity but not Osemlack who was able to heat and illuminate his home thanks to the hybrid vehicle’s power supply.

Bob was even able to enjoy creature comforts such as his television and radio!

Speaking to Ontario newspaper Guelph Mercury, Osemlack explained how he managed to power his home during the storm, “When the furnace comes on, and the house gets up to temperature, I go to the thermostat and shut the furnace off. Now I can plug something else in: the TV, the fridge or the floor lamp”.

A full nine hours of electricity cost Osemlack just four litres of petrol as the engine efficiently generated power to charge the battery – however, Osemlack didn’t recommend his trick as it can be dangerous.

A spokesperson for Toyota told AOL Cars, "The car isn't designed to be used as a power source for home use”.

"Interestingly, there have been plenty of rumour stories surrounding the upcoming Prius 4 that hint that the vehicle will have just such a facility”.

"For example, the battery can be used as a home power source during emergencies such as earthquakes and freak weather”.

Adding, "But Prius 3, mentioned here, was never intended to be used in such a way and we would not recommend driver's doing so”.

Osemlack revealed that he had only been driving a Prius for a few years after trading in his Volkswagen – adding that he would make sure his Toyota remains fully charge in case such an incident occurred again.


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