How to Use a Prius as a Generator

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Being without electricity due to natural disaster or repair work being performed on electric lines in your region is at best an inconvenience and at worst life-threatening, especially when you depend on electricity for essentials like heat in the winter months. If you are a Prius driver, however, there is a way to use your car to generate power for your home and better cope with a power outage.

Part 1 of 1: Using a Prius as a generator

Materials Needed

Step 1: Choose the Plug-Out Kit appropriate for your needs. ConVerdant offers three kits that include the Island (a power inverter) and input cable with different power ratings: 2 kva, 2 kva, and 5 kva.

As a general rule, the 2 kva kit is appropriate for running non-electric heating and one major appliance, such as a refrigerator. The 2 kva kit can handle one major appliance, non-electric heating or a forced air system, and one smaller appliance, such as a coffee maker. The 5 kva kit is capable of running two to three major appliances along with a 240v pump or air handler.

If in doubt, refer to the ConVerdant capacity planning guide.

  • Note: Plug-Out Kits do not work with the Prius C, although ConVerdant and Toyota are reportedly in development on kits compatible with that Prius model.

cable in trunk

Step 2: Attach the Plug-Out input cable to the Prius battery. To locate the proper place to plug into the Prius high-voltage battery, open the trunk and lift up the bottom panel to reveal a storage compartment.

Inside that compartment is a box labeled “High Voltage.” This is where you connect the end of the input cable with a red plug, a black plug, and two white plugs. Align the colors on the end of the input cable with the receptors on the box and press the input cable into them firmly.

plug out kit inside of trunk

Step 2: Connect the input cable to the Plug-Out Island. Replace the bottom panel in the trunk on top of the input cable, so that the free end of the cable can be accessed. Place the Island on top of the panel in the trunk. Press the free end of the input cable into the same-shaped receptor on the back of the Island.

plug out island

Step 4: Attach the extension cord to the Plug-Out Island. Press the pronged male end of the extension cord into one of the plugs on the back of the Island, then run the extension cord into your home near the appliances or items you wish to run off of the electricity generated by your Prius.

cord plugged into extension cord and twisted

Step 5: Plug the surge protector into the extension cord. In order to prevent the surge protector from becoming separated from the extension cord and interrupting the running of your electronic items, twist the cords together two to three times before pressing the male end of the surge protector into the female end of the extension cord.

hand plugging chord into surge protector

Step 6: Plug in the desired items you want to run on your Prius. Ensure the power light on the surge protector is on, and then plug in any items you wish to power.

Otherwise, if you do not check that the power light is on, there will be no power to your appliances or other plugged-in essentials.

person pushing power button down in prius

Step 7: Start your Prius’ ignition. Press the power button on the Prius’ dashboard to start the engine and begin generating power for your home.

As long as your car runs, there will be power provided through your ConVerdant Plug-Out setup.

Although using your Prius as a generator is a temporary solution to electricity problems, it can prove handy in a pinch to stay warm, preserve the contents of your refrigerator, or run the television to stay entertained until your power is restored. It is also environmentally friendly, quiet, and efficient.


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