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Is Using the Prius Fuelish?

If one could generate electricity more cheaply at home than at giant power plants, the nation would already be dotted by hundreds of millions of generators.  "Economies of scale" are easily achieved in power generation, slightly ameliorated by the need to distribute it to customers.  Also, the same institute that researched the "pulling the cord on the generator" issue did a large-scale study and found that very few people wanted either railroad sidings to deliver coal on their front lawns, or hot tubs warmed by decaying fission products from nuclear fuel rods*.

So, then, how inefficient is using the Prius to generate electricity?  My load tests were of a short enough duration (total load about 4KWH) as to not significantly deplete the Prius gas tank.  I did keep track of mileage for that tank (as I do for every tank, being a numbers junkie) and the mileage was lower than average.  However the difference was small enough to have been lost in the ullage, and no valid conclusion can be drawn about how many KWH/gallon the Prius provides.  To answer the question definitively, one would have to fill the tank, use perhaps 25KWH, and then see how many gallons is required for a refill.

The table below, when I do the research to complete it, will purport to compare the efficiency of using the Prius vs. other local powerplants vs. using the electric grid.  But, as you stare at the empty columns, console yourself with the notion that it doesn't matter.  The whole point of using the Prius for electricity is that it's for occasional, emergency use.  When a hurricane is coming, you don't go to ten stores to get a bargain on duct tape. 

Electricity Source Load (Equiv.) Gallons per KWH
Power Company Generator 1GW  
Prius Hybrid-Electric 5KW  
Typical Honda portable generator 5KW .15
Dedicated home generator 5KW  
Capstone mini-turbine 30KW .1 (Diesel)

*A modest number of people did claim to find Cerenkov radiation "beautiful" and felt it would contribute to the ambience of their back-yard pool.         

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  Updated 06 May 2006