How do I use a car battery to generate electricity?

I’ve heard that you can use a car battery as a power source for your home. How do you go about doing this?

Lisa Steuer McArdle · Answered on Mar 01, 2023
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
You’re absolutely correct! To use a car battery to generate electricity, you can connect it to a power inverter designed for a 12-volt battery, as a temporary solution if you lose power in your home. You’ll also need a surge protector.
The black inverter input clamp needs to be attached to the negative battery post, while the red one goes on the positive battery post.
Then, take the following steps:
  • Plug the surge protector into the outlet of the power inverter.
  • Turn the power inverter on. The internal components will charge up.
  • Turn the surge protector switch on, and you can now plug electronics into the surge protector.
You’ll also want to take wattage into account. Items like floodlights, radios, or phone chargers would only need a lower wattage inverter—about 150 to 300. Anything that has a motor would need anything from 500 to 1,000 watts. The higher the wattage, the faster the battery will run out.
Be sure to follow safety precautions. For instance, you should not exceed your power inverter’s peak power as listed, because doing so could cause a fire.
Once your power comes back on in your home, be sure to download the Jerry app to search for affordable car insurance! The app compares quotes from more than 50 insurance companies for you in under a minute, without any long forms to fill out.
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