Kristy Holmes always knew she could use her electric car for ‘good things’, but when storms caused a blackout, it proved life-saving

An electric vehicle owner has used her car’s emergency power system to run her 11-year-old son’s life-saving dialysis machine and another has ridden to the rescue of his neighbours after devastating storms cut power in south-east Queensland.

When the power went down after storms and flash flooding on Christmas Day, many residents immediately felt the consequences: electric gates did not work, septic tanks began to fill, air conditioners could not run and fridges began to warm as a heatwave followed.


But some electric vehicle drivers whose cars are equipped with “vehicle to load” systems – a back-up power system that allows the car to act as an emergency generator or supply for devices such as lights, laptops, TVs and refrigerators – stepped in to help out and, in some cases, save lives.

One woman on the Gold Coast, Kristy Holmes, 42, used her BYD electric car to power her 11-year-old son’s dialysis machine after their power shut off on Christmas Day.

At first, Holmes and her husband used the car to plug in their fridges and those of their neighbours in the adjoining units but when the power did not come back on quickly, she started to wonder whether the BYD Atto 3 the couple bought in February could also handle the life-saving dialysis machine.

Read more: TheGuardian