San Francisco Prius propelled by MUNI power

American ingenuity is an amazing thing. It’s on full display here, on the roof of a second-generation Toyota Prius.
The car was spotted by Sierra Hartman of The Bold ItalicLater the author spotted the car again, and this time reacted quickly on their motorcycle to catch up to the car sporting power poles that allow it to run off the overhead bus and trolley lines. As the driver, Jon, sat at a light, the author was able to procure a business car with just a name and a number. This began a short quest to learn more about this wild machine.
The two met again, this time to chat about Jon’s Prius, which may in fact be the most interesting Prius we’ve seen. Not that this is a tough competition. The plate reads “MUNI PWR” and Jon drives the car hooked up to the overheard fuel source. He’s able to get “150 miles of free energy courtesy of Mr. MTA!”
Hartman attempted to learn as much as possible about the car, but Jon could only dole out so much information. He can’t say where it’s parked. The details of how it all works aren’t revealed. But we do learn this isn’t Jon’s first attempt a power-pole equipped car.
Head over to The Bold Italic to see more photos and learn a bit more about this automotive hero and his insane Prius.
[Source: The Bold Italic via Twitter]


  1. Reminds me of the story, perhaps apocryphal, of the electrical engineering professor that bought a houet that backed up to a high voltage transmission line right-of-way and buried a home built electrical thing (the technical name escapes me, some kind of coil, maybe) in his back yard to pull voltage away from the electric field generated around the lines and power his house.

    1. People have successfully done this, but the power company can detect the draw and if you’re lucky they’ll just make you stop — I believe people have been arrested for doing it, even when there’s no direct physical connection.

    1. You know the way when there’s an oddly specific law, there’s often a story behind it? That’s this guy I reckon..

  2. The Bold Italic is still in business? They said they called it quits in 2015
    …and even their front page has above-the-fold articles from 2017.
    Anyway, it’s a Prius taking up a bus lane (Eastbound 16th street between Bryant & Potrero; I’ve stared at that bus stop trying to exit the Safeway parking lot many times.)
    Kill it with fire.

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