EnergyWatch

Cities running on car batteries? Just so crazy it might work

Utilities and auto makers are tinkering with a new vehicle-to-grid approach, which could see batteries inside electric cars used as storage for the entire public power grid.

Photo: Michael Porbst/AP

When Damien Maguire moved to the countryside outside Dublin, he struggled to keep the lights on at home because of the town's constant power outages. He found a solution inside his electric cars: their batteries.

A tinkerer who posts videos of his hand-built vehicles on Youtube, Maguire devised a wiring system that lets him suck power out of them when they're parked in the garage. Now that the house and cars are connected, he can also use the batteries to store energy from his backyard solar panels, another power source that's not totally reliable given Ireland's weather.

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