Prius snowed in

The Toyota Prius' battery pack just got something like a five-star rating from a truly seasoned professional – a 50-year aircraft technician. Bob Osemlak, who'd served more than three of those five decades with the Canadian Air Force, brought electricity back to his home in December during a heavy ice storm thanks to his gas-electric car.

His ingenuity allowed him to turn on lights, furnace, refrigerator and the TV.

The Thornhill, Ontario resident lost power for nearly a day on December 21 – not nearly as much as millions of other people hit by the recent storm - and so he still set about using his Prius for backup power, according to EV World. His ingenuity allowed him to turn on lights, furnace, refrigerator and the TV.

Being an aircraft technician for so long brought Osemlak the ability to home-brew his V2H set-up that he urges other people to avoid, for safety reasons. He had planned for a potential power outage by installing an outlet on his furnace and, when the storm struck, he ran a cord through the basement window to the car. During the nine hours Osemlak used his Prius for backup power, the car's fuel gauge only reduced less than one bar, or roughly the equivalent of a gallon of gasoline.

It wasn't the first time Osemlak had played with his vehicle. In the 1960s, while stationed in Winnepeg, Manitoba, he created a car starter. Every hour, the car would start up and run for 10 minutes to avoid being frozen solid in frigid winter temperatures.