WHY IS THIS BETTER THAN A GASOLINE GENERATOR?
- Small, compact, light, and easily portable.
- CarGeneratorTM is safer and all you need to power your home gas furnace.
- Easier to use than a big heavy generator, an 8 year old or an 80 year old can do it
- Gas Generator is noisy, smelly, polluting and heavy to lug around
- Gas Generator is expensive to buy and then hard wire into your house
- Need to keep refilling the tiny generator gas tank to keep things running
- Need to store many cans of gasoline and empty them regularly to keep them fresh
- Need to carry a car full of gas cans to the gas station to fill them up
WHY IS THIS BETTER THAN A WHOLE HOUSE GENERATOR?
- It costs far less. Buy a CarGenerator for just a fraction of what you would spend on a whole house generator installed typically between $5k-$10k. If you have a power outage just occasionally every year or two then why spend a ton of money on a big generator taking up yard space?
- During a power outage the most essential things to keep running are a)Furnace in winter, b)Fridge in summer. Run either of these using the power of your Car. Use extra power if available to power laptops, electronics, and more.
- Because you can take it with you! Why spend a ton of money on a big heavy 500 pound generator but you can’t take it with you for adventures, camping, cottage, tailgating and more. CarGenerator weighs just 16 pounds.
- If you have a cottage this does double duty to provide power either for your home or cottage wherever you are, take it along with you.
- Because it costs you ZERO annually. Whole house generator service contracts typically run $500+ annually. CarGenerator is no maintenance, no oil changes, no annual service checkups, no annual cost. No special storage requirements put it away and forget about it.
- Because its more Romantic and Charming! When the power goes out – the kids all shout hooray! Break out the candles, flashlights, and have some family fun together, but you have the assurance you will never freeze again. Use your car to run your furnace and STAY WARM in your own house!
WHY THIS IS MORE THAN JUST A SIMPLE CHEAP INVERTER?
DOES THE VEHICLE HAVE TO REMAIN RUNNING?
Just like a traditional portable gas generator, the source of power is your car engine. The CarGenerator does not use power from your car battery, it only converts extra power from your running car engine to function like a gas powered inverter generator. In simple terms, it takes the unused power normally used driving for lights, radio, heated everything, AC fans etc, and provides that instead as up to 1000 watts of pure AC household power. The main benefits is: a) instead of needing to drag around and store heavy smelly cans of gasoline, it makes use of the typical vehicle 13-40 gallons of gas in the tank, so it can run 60-100 hours on a tank, versus refilling a portable generator tank every 3-4 hours, not fun. b) the CarGenerator is ultra light at just 16 pounds!
WHY IS THIS BETTER THAN A PORTABLE OR LITHIUM BATTERY PACK?
- Because you will never see the battery guage show “empty”. CarGenerator is not a battery pack at all. You get to enjoy up to 1000 watts from your vehicle for 60-100 hours on a tank for typical vehicles. (see how long can you idle question) For contrast, a well-known 1000 watt lithium pack will run a “mini fridge” for just 17 hours.
- It’s a fraction of the weight! Just 16 pounds versus 40 pounds for a typical 1000 lithium pack.
- It runs in the rain / snow / ice / bad weather. Lithium battery pack instructions are clear to make sure they are not exposed to moisture or rain under any circumstances.
- Never pay to replace the internal or lithium battery pack. After using a Lithium or portable power pack for many use cycles the internal battery pack needs to be replaced. This is never the case with CarGenerator because there is no internal battery.
- It runs in cold and freezing temperatures. Lithium and other battery packs lose their potency and power life in the cold. With CarGenerator you get up to 1000 watts, full power, even in cold or freezing temperatures, and runs for hours up to several days no problem.
CAN I CHARGE MY PORTABLE LITHIUM BATTERY PACK USING MY CARGENERATOR?
Absolutely YES! Run your CarGenerator and plug it into your trailer and / or portable lithium pack during the evening while you’re making dinner to keep everything topped up. Lithium power packs have strict instructions to NOT charge directly from a 12 volt source. Instead use your 120 volt CarGenerator to charge them up with pure sine wave clean power from your vehicle.
HOW LONG CAN A VEHICLE IDLE FROM A FULL TANK?
2010 Honda Civic with a 1.8 liter engine and a 13.2 gallon tank can idle with no load for close to 88 hours!
2010 Ford F150 with a 4 liter engine and a 36 gallon tank can idle with no load for close to 92 hours.
HOW MUCH GAS DOES A CARGENERATOR USE PER HOUR?
How much fuel does your car use running on idle with no load?
2 liter engine = .16 gal / hr
4 liter engine = .39 gal / hr
Then increase these numbers slightly to factor in power draw for CarGenerator depending on how many watts you are using, and this gives you an approximate gauge.
HOW DOES THIS COMPARE VERSUS A PORTABLE GENERATOR?
STANDARD PORTABLE GENERATOR:
Honda 1000 w generator = .19 gal / hr at full load of 1000 watts
Honda 3000 w generator = .47 gal / hr at full load of 3000 watts, .17 gal / hr at 750 watts
IS IT SAFE?
All the internal electrical components are government approved for sale in both Canada and the USA. We will provide a complete guide and instructions for safe usage and handling.
WHAT YOU CAN AND CANNOT POWER?
You can power your gas furnace and the essentials you need to keep your house warm and comfortable for a power outage of 2-3 days up to weeks or more. The CarGeneratorTM will provide power to run things like your gas furnace, computers, fans, lights, motors, your gas fireplace if it needs power, or even a hairdryer or curling iron on a low setting!
This may not be suitable for you if you want to power your entire house and big appliances like air conditioners, laundry machines, lawnmowers, electric baseboard or electric portable heaters, electric hot water heaters, electric kettles or cooking stove-tops. For cooking we recommend using a simple camping stove or a barbq side burner outside.
WILL THIS DAMAGE MY CAR OR VOID MY WARRANTY?
CarGeneratorTM has standard overload protection circuits built in. Specific instructions are provided with your unit which you must follow to ensure you are pulling a safe amount of power from your vehicle.
HOW LONG CAN THIS PROVIDE POWER?
For as long as your car can run on idle for. Most typical vehicles that would be at least 2 days (48 hours) running, for hybrid vehicles it would be 3-5 days or more. After that simply drive to a gas station and refill your car, No messy and smelly gas cans to store and carry around.
HOW DO I POWER MY HOUSE FURNACE?
In order to power up your most important item, your main house furnace to stay warm, beforehand you will need to install a simple bypass electrical plug near your furnace switch. You can either do this yourself, or your licensed furnace HVAC service technician can easily do it, or you can hire an electrician if you wish.
COULD I BUILD THIS MYSELF?
You could go out to Costco, Home Depot, and electrical supply stores to purchase some of the components and do some dangerous experimenting, but why take the risk and go through the hassle? We have years of research and testing already completed to make this a no-brainer to keep your family safe and warm.
HOW MUCH POWER CAN THIS PROVIDE?
The amount of power provided varies by vehicle. The first and most important goal is to power your gas furnace to keep your house warm. Our testing shows that a typical furnace needs between 100-400 watts of solid power to run. After that everything else is a bonus up to the maximum your vehicle can provide. Once your furnace is running and you see how much power it uses, you can then add cellphone chargers, laptops, ipads, tablets, computers, a few lights, fridges and freezers depending on what your car provides. You can also rotate devices in shifts, so plug in fridges/ freezers for a few hours then switch to power other devices for a few hours to maximize your available power.
THE CarGeneratorTM STORY
Our founder Jonathan has always had a passion for anything technical. If he goes over to someone’s house and they are having problems with their stereo or computer or just about anything technical, it’s irresistible to him to fix or resolve it. Jonathan has run a software tech company for the last 20+ years and has learned a thing or two about technology and how to apply it to solve real world problems.
A few years ago Jonathan built a system so his family could go camping “off grid” and have all the power they wanted. Around the time that hurricane Sandy was approaching, he realized that the same concept could be adapted to power the essentials in their house, and delightfully it did! The best example happened in December 2013 when Toronto had a complete power outage from an ice storm 3 days before Christmas. Jonathan hooked up the system to his house furnace and they were completely comfortable for 3+ days with our house temperature 23c/75f degrees and the furnace running like normal, even when all of their neighbors had abandoned their houses, until power was restored on Christmas eve day.
OUR RAISON D’ETRE AND WHY WE STARTED THIS
The clincher or raison d’etre that solidified the real world need for this, happened just after the ice storm while Jonathan was speaking with other parents at his daughter’s school and they told him how their house got so cold they were forced to abandon their house, the pipes froze, and massive water damage occurred throughout the house causing extensive repairs of ceiling, drywall and floors, a costly insurance claim, and significant upset for their family. This could have so easily been avoided, eliminating hassle upset and a big insurance claim.
Just like when Jonathan started his first software tech company 20+ years ago , friends and family were amazed at how he did this and then encouraged him to package the idea up into something that could benefit everyone, and so CarGeneratorTM was born!
WHY IS THIS BETTER THAN A WHOLE HOUSE GENERATOR?
It costs far less. If you have a power outage just occasionally every year or two then why spend a ton of money on a big generator taking up yard space? If you are ok with running just the essentials of your house like your gas furnace, fridge, a few lights and computers, then buy a CarGenerator. Save 90% of your money and pay just a fraction of what you would otherwise on a whole house generator installed typically between $5k-$10k.
IN MY RESEARCH ON MY VEHICLE, 2018 TOYOTA TUNDRA 1794 EDITION IT IS RECOMMENDED TO NOT IDLE FOR PERIODS OF TIME. WITHOUT GETTING TECHNICAL, THE IDLING SUCH AS WARMING UP A VEHICLE, CAUSES MORE OR MUCH EARLIER DAMAGE TO SENSITIVE PARTS OF THE ENGINE…UNLIKE OLDER DAYS WHEN YOU HAD TO WARM AN ENGINE UP BEFORE DRIVING. ?
There are lots of opinions and viewpoints on that question. The simple fact however is that every day thousands of folks idle their vehicles with no risk or damage whatsoever: stuck in traffic, mobile sales people, professionals, taxis, delivery, emergency services, and more. Modern engines are built to handle a wide array of conditions both arctic cold and burning desert hot. They are carefully temperature monitored, oxygen and emissions sensing, and automatically adjusted on the fly using sophisticated computer controls. Most of the research and government studies regarding this topic focus on “starting and idling your car to warm up when its COLD outside”. However, most idling CarGenerator uses is when your engine is warmed up and running. In both cases either with a gas generator, or your car engine idling with CarGenerator providing power, an engine of some sort needs to run to create the power. The big difference with CarGenerator is ultra light weight at only 16 pounds, hassle free with zero maintenance, no messy gas cans to store and fill tiny tanks, fully rain / weatherproof, and run time on a typical vehicle of 50-80 hours+ Its also much quieter and more environmentally friendly because most generators have no emissions control, versus all vehicles have thousands of dollars of emissions control equipment included. In typical use most of our customers use CarGenerator to run a few hours a day or in the evening to power up lights, showers, TV, laptops, and fully charge their batteries safely at high speed. For our own Airstream we consider it like “solar backup”, even though we have 520 watts of solar on our Airstream roof, when we camped last summer for 2 weeks most of our sites were non electric. however most of them were shady and / or it rained, so without the hassle of a big heavy gas generator we plugged into our sleek little CarGenerator and had plenty of power, and hardly even saw our vehicle gas gauge move.
DO I NEED TO LEAVE MY CAR ENGINE RUNNING?
Unless you own a wind farm or a giant solar array, when the power goes out, there are only two ways of generating backup power; 1) Producing power from backup batteries, which will only last a few hours at best, or 2) producing power from an internal combustion engine. Like a traditional gas generator, with CarGenerator, a gas motor provides the power, turning fuel into electricity. Where CarGenerator is different is that it has a much larger gas tank, so 50-70 hours of runtime is possible instead of 5-8, and it’s only 16 pounds, because you are using your car’s engine instead of one that’s permanently coupled to a generator. Thanks to the superior emissions control systems of modern vehicle, CarGenerator is actually more environmentally-friendly as well.
WILL I RUN OUT OF GAS? HOW LONG WILL IT LAST?
A typical vehicle can provide power for 50+ hours up to 80+ hours on a tank. Compare this to a typical portable gas generator that needs attention every 4-5 hours because of its tiny little gas tank.
WILL IT DRAIN MY BATTERY?
Nope. Not even one tiny bit… Once your motor is running, your battery isn’t even necessary in the equation (true fact, ask your mechanic). Power for the car’s electrical system (or your house or RV) actually comes from the alternator. Batteries are there just to start the car and get the motor running, so your battery won’t even notice CarGenerator being attached.
ISN’T IT BAD TO IDLE A CAR FOR A LONG PERIOD OF TIME?
Nope, not unless you were planning on hooking up CarGenerator to a ’59 Studebaker. Modern cars are designed to handle all kinds of operating conditions, and at idle, the car’s computer makes sure its engine is adequately cooled and lubricated. Police vehicles and ambulances are typically idled all the time, and usually enter their second service lives at 100,000+ miles. If you need CarGenerator more than a handful of times per year, you’d likely be better off with a natural-gas-powered, hard-wired permanent generator at a cost of $5,000+ dollars. For everyone else, rest assured that your car is operating well within its design limits.
WILL SOMEONE STEAL MY CAR?
Nope. Not a chance…. Once you start your engine, just lock your doors with a spare key (see our instruction manual), and depending on your location you can put a steering wheel lock on for additional protection (about $12 at Wal-Mart) which makes it almost impossible to steal the vehicle. If you’re still worried, or you live in a neighborhood with a lot of chalk outlines on the sidewalk, CarGenerator can supply you with a wheel boot, to make theft impossible without a trailer or an angle grinder. If a thief brings a trailer to steal your car, it won’t matter if the key is in it or not. If they bring an angle grinder, you will definitely hear them, and should probably call the police. In any event you would know immediately because your power would go out!
BUT… THIS IS A STUPID IDEA. WHY NOT JUST BUY A REGULAR GENERATOR?
Three words: Reliable. Ultralight. Run-time.
RELIABLE – the #1 problem with traditional generators? F.T.S. – fail to start. When you need it most they don’t start up because of old gas or no maintenance. If your car starts, you have power.
ULTRALIGHT – CarGenerator is just 16 pounds, versus typical generators that are 60 – 160 pound beasts.
RUN-TIME – CarGenerator has a run-time of 50-80+ hours, where typical generators need to be refilled every 4-5 hours.
BUT… ITS NOT ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY TO RUN MY CAR, MAYBE EVEN ILLEGAL!
Nope… surprise! Its actually more environmentally friendly because typical vehicles already have thousands of dollars worth of emissions controls systems in place; computers, oxygen sensors, and catalytic converters. In some cities, a ULEV (like a Toyota Prius) actually puts out less pollution than there is in the ambient air! Gross, right? A standard generator is basically a glorified lawn mower, with no emissions equipment at all!
BUT… THEN WHY NOT JUST BUY A CHEAP INVERTER FROM WALMART OR SIMILAR?
Totally an option. If you want to jerry-rig an inverter in a waterproof container, you certainly could, but if you want to plug in any sensitive electronics (like your furnace, laptop, or medical device) you’ll need pure-sine wave power to avoid damage and ensure good performance. A 1000 watt, pure sine wave inverter can be purchased from Walmart for about $400. Then you need a set of heat-proof booster cables for prolonged use under the hood (about $100), and finally, you need a weather-proof housing that also allows for ventilation. If you’re an industrious, DIY-er who loves saving money above all else, you could definitely build your own CarGenerator; you’ll save about $150, providing your time isn’t worth anything. For the rest of us, who value our time and want an easy, proven solution, CarGenerator is simply the best possible option for worry-free, temporary power.
IS UP TO 1000 WATTS ENOUGH?
1000 watts is not a lot, however consider the following:
- To run your furnace and heat your entire house, only requires between 200-300 watts on average.
- To run a fridge only requires 200-300 watts typically
- The number one identified problem with gas generator is….? F.T.S. = Fail to start. CarGenerator is always ready.
- Keeping a good supply of gas cans stored, and keeping them all fresh every few months, is a nuisance and a fire safety hazard.
- If you need lots of backup power for all your house appliances and big draw items like a hot tub, wine cellar, Air Conditioning, or if you often need backup power, then you’re better off with a traditional gas generator.
- If your need for backup power is occasional and modest, then a CarGenerator is a better choice.
Think of it like a 2 seater sports car or Mercedes compact Smart car, versus a mini-van or SUV. You can’t haul the soccer team kids around or pickup your entire family from the airport, but you can take 2 people comfortably anywhere and its smaller lighter easier to park, etc…
CarGenerator is super small compact hassle and maintenance free, with enough power to run your furnace for 50-80 hours if you need. No gas cans to store and keep fresh, and the freedom to use it at home or the cottage. Leave it in your vehicle trunk and use it whenever you need power.
A simple test to determine how much core power you really need: shut off all non-essential items in your house that in an emergency you could not live without. Just leave the basics like furnace, fridge. Shut off space heaters, dehumidifiers, washer/dryers, etc. Go out to your hydro meter and take a picture of the number, then after an hour go out and check the number again. If the number increased by 1 then you only needed 1 killowatt that hour (1000 watts) if it increased by 2-5 then you needed 2000-5000 watts. It’s a very simple rough gauge to know approximately what you would need. (without getting into technicalities of startup draw, locked rotor amps, real versus apparent power, etc)