Seeing the future
It appears that fiction can be a predictor of truth. Readers of the original "The Ladies Who Don't Lunch" might recall Lauren describing the work of a man named Thomas. Thomas talked about a concept he was working on to use electric cars to reduce dependency on gasoline. He explained how parking meters would be re-engineered to boost cars that needed more energy and to drain their energy for street lighting when the cars sat idle. Parking stalls in garages would have similar outlets, providing energy when the car was turned on and draining it from parked cars to light and heat the buildings above. In his system, energy was not stored in the vehicles, but drawn on when needed.
Today, CBC news reported on the concept as a reality. More electric vehicles are becoming capable of not only storing energy for driving, but also for powering buildings and the wider grid, thanks to a capability called "bidirectional charging." It's an emerging technology that could keep fridges, lights and the internet on in homes and other buildings during emergencies, eliminating or reducing the impact of most power outages. Bidirectional charging also has the potential to make the entire power grid greener and more efficient, enabling increased and better use of wind and solar power. Click here for a closer look at the technology.