Use A Toyota Prius As A Backup Generator

Many Toyota Prius owners have discovered a way to modify their cars to convert them into a reliable backup generator to provide 110/120 volt electrical power to a home in case of a power outage. It can also be used to run power tools in remote locations. With a few simple modifications, the Prius becomes an emergency power source anywhere the car can be parked and run safely.


1. Locate the 12 volt auxiliary battery in the car’s trunk.

2. Cut the #10 wire into two pieces and strip about an inch of the insulation off one end of each piece.

3. Loosen the battery cables from the positive and negative posts, and slip the bare end of each #10 wire under the battery clamp so it makes contact with the battery post. Re-tighten each battery clamp to secure each #10 wire in place.

4. Mount a 1250 watt sine wave power inverter, such as the AIMS 1250 watt inverter, on the floor of the trunk as close to the 12 volt auxiliary battery as possible. Use a power drill and bit to drill holes in the the trunk floor and use the mounting screws to secure it in place. Make sure the bit is slightly smaller than the diameter of the mounting screws. Take care to connect the wire from the battery’s positive post to the inverter’s positive post and the wire from the battery’s negative post to the inverter’s negative post.

5. Start the Prius and keep it idling to provide the power you need to operate. The Toyota Prius is designed to start and stop the gas engine automatically as needed to keep the main 273 volt battery charged, which, in turn, keeps the 12 volt auxiliary battery fully charged.

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6. Plug an extension cord into the inverter’s 110/120 volt plug receptacle and run the cord into the house or to the location where you will use the power tools. Plug the other end of the extension cord into a power strip with overload protection. With this setup, you can power the essential appliances and lights of the house or plug the power tools in. If you’re using the Toyota Prius to provide emergency power to the house, use additional extension cords plugged into the power strip to run them to the appliances and lights.

7. Keep the gas tank filled. If the Prius runs out of gas or if you turn the car off, the 12 volt battery will run down quickly and it won’t provide the power you need for continuous operation.