A new plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) traction power drive system under development could someday eliminate hybrid necessary electric car charging stations while also providing backup power that can be used by homes. Designed by researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), the PHEV system not only provides power to electric cars, but also packs vehicle-to-grid support.

In a news release supplied by ORNL, Gui-Jia Su of ORNL’s Power Electronics and Electric Machinery Research Center explains that the “technology eliminates the separate charging mechanism typically used in PHEVs, reducing both cost and volume under the hood.”

phev system
Image via Oak Ridge National Laboratory

The PHEV system, which has already been fabricated and put through demonstrations, is said to provide greater power than standard freestanding portable generators, which would allow it to be used in emergency situations such as power outages and roadside breakdowns. Other potential functions, as envisioned by ORNL for the system outside of hybrid vehicles include powering homes and businesses, as well as supplying power to the grid.

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