Dr. Kempton's Grid-Friendly Electric Car

The car's real benefit is that it's not just a user of energy. It's also a provider.

Published: 12-Feb-2009

PHILADELPHIA -- Willett Kempton drives an uncommon car. The body is a Toyota Scion. The innards have been stripped of their “greasy parts,” and replaced by massive batteries and other electrical components.

The resulting vehicle, developed by Kempton, a renewable-energy professor at the University of Delaware, can hit 95 mph and go 120 miles before charging. As impressive as those numbers are, the car's real benefit is that it's not just a user of energy. It's also a provider.

The battery in this new breed of electric car can both give and receive, taking a charge and then, through the same electrical cord, sending some of its stored energy back to a hungry electricity grid, as needed.

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