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Over 8 million people were left without electricity in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and last summer's derecho storm left many without power for a week or more. Some resourceful electric vehicle owners in the DC area have figured out how to use the big battery in their cars for emergency power. Television station WUSA, channel 9 in Washington, DC did a story on EVA/DC member Doron Shalvi who used his Nissan Leaf to power his refrigerator when the lights went out at his house during Sandy.
This could have been you, and it is something to think about when you shop for your next car. Could an EV or a Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) fulfill your needs, stroke your desires and enhance your shelter requirements -- all at the same time? The answer, of course, is "Yes!" Whether it is the next power outage -- and there WILL be a "next power outage" -- rising prices at the pump, concerns about America's energy security and/or a strong desire to contribute to the planet, EVs and PHEVs offer advantages that are unmatched by internal combustion vehicles or even by non-plug-in hybrids.
"Well, couldn't I just put an inverter on any car and have the same advantage?" you might ask. You could, but it wouldn't work nearly as well, as Doron Shalvi points out. And you might have to leave your ICE vehicle idling for days at a time until the power came back on -- something that you definitely would not want to do in an enclosed garage.
Would you like to learn more? Why not attend the next meeting of the Electric Vehicle Association of Greater Washington, D.C. and meet friendly people who have "been there, done that," and are delighted to share what they know! EVA/DC member Scott Wilson will give a live demonstration of one of these EV inverter systems at the November meeting. He plans to brew us some coffee from the power coming off of his Nissan Leaf. We will also have pizza and soft drinks.
The public is invited to all EVA/DC meetings which are usually held at the Silver Spring Library on the third Wednesday of each month. See our Meetings page for map and details.