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Three cars that will help you weather a hurricane, gas shortage, or power outage

The right automobile can help you through Hurricane Sandy and the ongoing blackout affecting millions in the northeastern US. And we’re talking about more than using the 12-volt accessory socket to recharge your Blackberry. These three cars can make a significant impact on your quality of life when the power is out and gas is in short supply.
Nissan Leaf as a full-home generator

The Nissan Leaf electric vehicle could be the generator you forgot to buy. A pilot project in Japan, called Leaf-to-Home, takes the 24kW stored in the Leaf’s lithium-ion battery, and distributes it to the house as 120V current through a Nissan power control system (PCS).

In Japan, the average house uses 10-12kW a day, so that’s a two-day battery. Houses in the US typically draw a lot more power, but it could run a week if all you connect is the refrigerator, furnace, sump pump to empty water out of the basement, and low-demand electronics, like a modem or router.


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