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OK GM, here is your price target. You can purchase a 2008 Toyota Prius in the neighborhood of $24,000 if you shop around. Hymotion Plug-in Conversion Modules will be available for owners of Toyota Priuses, model year 2004 to 2008. At an installed cost of $9995 plus shipping, buyers can choose a certified Hymotion dealer for conversion of their hybrid vehicles. Installations for consumers are expected to begin in July, 2008. So for $35,000 or less, you can drive a PHEV Prius this year. Hymotion will also manufacture Plug-in Conversion Modules for Ford Escapes.

From A123's website: http://www.a123systems.com/#/news/news127, comes the following annoucement.

Starting Today, A123Systems will Accept Consumer Deposits for Plug-in Conversion Modules Capable of Increasing Fuel Economy to More Than 100 Miles Per Gallon and Reducing CO2 Emissions by more than 50%

Watertown, Mass. – April 28, 2008 – A123Systems, developer and producer of Nanophosphate™ lithium ion batteries, today announced the launch of its Hymotion product line’s new Web site, www.hymotion.com, designed to provide information and take orders from individuals interested in purchasing the L5 Plug-in Conversion Module (PCM) for the Toyota Prius. A123Systems also continues to sell Hymotion Plug-in Conversion Modules to fleet and government buyers, with more than 50 vehicles currently on the road in corporate and government demonstration programs.

A123Systems’ Hymotion product line is the only fully tested PCM that meets or exceeds federal requirements for crash-worthiness and emissions. Based on independent testing performed at Argonne National Labs as well as Idaho National Labs, the L5 PCM will enable a Toyota Prius to obtain fuel economies of more than 100 miles per gallon.

A123Systems is in the process of developing and certifying a nationwide dealer network for the Hymotion product line, beginning with Hymotion dealerships in Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Boston and Washington, D.C. In an important step for broad acceptance, A123 has been working with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and has outlined a path for conditional approval from CARB to sell up to 500 conversion modules in the state of California to begin its consumer launch.

“This long-anticipated announcement is celebrated not only by us as the culmination of years of hard work, but by many who are eager to dramatically lower emissions and free themselves from dependence on petroleum,” said Dave Vieau, CEO of A123Systems. “Today, we begin a process that could conceivably change the environmental, economic and political implications of driving a car for the better.”

According to the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), half of the cars in the U.S. are driven just 25 miles a day or less. With an average electrically assisted driving range of 30-40 miles, a Toyota Prius equipped with a Hymotion L5 module charged overnight via a standard 120 volt outlet will, for most drivers, significantly reduce the amount of petroleum consumed and CO2 emitted. An L5 charged from the average national blend of electricity results in a 50 percent or greater reduction in overall “well-to-wheel” CO2 emissions compared to a traditional gas-powered vehicle. The L5 module is also environmentally friendly and fully recyclable, containing no heavy metals or toxic chemicals.

Plug-in Conversion Modules will be available for owners of Toyota Priuses, model year 2004 to 2008. At an installed cost of $9995 plus shipping, buyers can choose a certified Hymotion dealer for conversion of their hybrid vehicles. Installations for consumers are expected to begin in July,2008.

About A123Systems

A123 Systems is one of the world’s leading suppliers of high-power lithium ion batteries. The company’s patent pending Nanophosphate™ technology enables its batteries to deliver a previously unavailable combination of power, safety and life. Applicable to a wide range of industries, A123 Systems’ products remove many traditional technology constraints to provide OEMs expanded flexibility in system design. With world-class expertise and management, global manufacturing operations and one of the largest automotive lithium ion R&D teams, A123 Systems’ and its Automotive Class Lithium Ion™ products are helping to accelerate platform electrification. Founded in 2001 and headquartered in Massachusetts, A123 Systems’ proprietary nanoscale electrode technology is built on initial developments from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A123 Systems' Advanced Research & Government Solutions Division in Ann Arbor, Michigan is nationally recognized for new materials development and cutting-edge research. For additional information please visit www.a123systems.com.

About our Hymotion™ Product Line

A123Systems’ Hymotion product line bridges the current HEV-PHEV gap by enabling thousands of existing hybrids on the road to reach their full green potential through conversion to plug-in hybrids. Our Hymotion product line was developed by automotive industry veterans who set out to design advanced green transportation systems that improve upon existing vehicles and can be used by consumers today.​
 

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Yeah, I've got a couple of problems with this option...although it ain't bad.

1. It isn't a pure electric.
2. It will blow the warranty of a new Prius right out the window.
3. For the price, I'd rather buy a MiEV or Suburu, Miles Javlon, or whatever assuming they're available here.


For those that already own an older Prius with a lot of miles and don't want to wait for the electrics; more power to them.
 

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I'd venture to say the Magnusson-Moss Warranty act will protect the people who perform this modification. So the warranty will still be intact on all systems that haven't been modified. And I'm sure Hymotion will offer some sort of warranty of their own to ease the minds.
 

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I'd venture to say the Magnusson-Moss Warranty act will protect the people who perform this modification. So the warranty will still be intact on all systems that haven't been modified. And I'm sure Hymotion will offer some sort of warranty of their own to ease the minds.
I have no clue whether Mag-Moss would apply, but as a pragmatic matter, who the hell would want to take a risk for a 35 mph max for the EV mode. This is an electric golf cart. This is not an electric car. I'm saving my pennies for the real thing.
 

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I have no clue whether Mag-Moss would apply, but as a pragmatic matter, who the hell would want to take a risk for a 35 mph max for the EV mode. This is an electric golf cart. This is not an electric car. I'm saving my pennies for the real thing.

Not this guy. If they could get it to drive like a real car it would be worth the risk, but not a street legal golf car. And now that you mentioned it, would it even be street legal in EV mode with only a top speed of 35??
 

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Plug-in Hybred is a "real car"

As I understand it, the Hymotion™ battery and control system adds the ability to plug-in a normally functioning hybred, the Prius. Thus, the first 40 miles or so of use at less than 35 miles per hour would be electric, but that any additional mileage or speed would result in use of the vehicle primarily as it was designed by Toyota. With Hymotion batteries and plug-in use, the average American driver would get about 100 miles to the gallon over the course of a year rather than 45-50. If a person could charge the car up at work as well as at home, they could acheive even higher mileage!

This is a target for both Toyota and Chevrolet to aim for. A car that is fully functional with or without charging, but much more fuel-efficient than current models AND requiring very little change to our fuel delivery infrastructure...

The Hymotion installation comes with a three-year warranty. I do not know if it voids the Toyota warranties on any of the systems not impacted by the installation of the Hymotion after-market product...

The most recent information I have is that Hymotion installations are already scheduled out through October 2008, so if the Volt actually does become commercially available to individual purchasers by November, 2010, there will be only several thousand installations.

Gary
 

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I'm not getting how they attain 100MPG. I am new to the whole EV thing, so if someone could explain to me how a Prius would net me 100MPG with this mod, even though I drive average speed of 55MPH constant on my commute, I would appreciate it. To me it just sounds like turning a Prius into a very slow Volt, except that the engine can fire up and drive the wheels faster. How does normal driving in this Prius (>35MPH) get you 100MPG when the ICE is always running in that case?
 

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Well, researched the warranty. Seems A123 has all the bases covered:

Will the Hymotion conversion alter the warranty given by the vehicle's manufacturer?
Federal consumer protection laws do not allow a vehicle's OEM to void a consumer's warranty for installing a Hymotion module unless the Hymotion module is the direct cause of an otherwise warranted problem. For example, Toyota shouldn't void your warranty on your headlights for putting a module in your trunk. The Hymotion L5 is engineered not to adversely affect any OEM-warranted system. Our product field testing of over 200,000 miles of real life driving did not show any otherwise warrantable problems on the stock vehicle caused by the L5. If a vehicle's OEM denies a Hymotion customer warranty service due to a problem caused by a Hymotion module, A123 will pay for the otherwise warranted repair. SEMA, the Specialty Equipment Market Association provides guidance on understanding the legal protection for aftermarket products, specifically the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.
 

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the first 40 miles or so of use at less than 35 miles per hour would be electric, but that any additional mileage or speed would result in use of the vehicle primarily as it was designed by Toyota. With Hymotion batteries and plug-in use, the average American driver would get about 100 miles to the gallon over the course of a year rather than 45-50.
Sort of depends on how you define average, doesn't it? And how you accelerate, I would suspect.

Didn't Jason and a few others have a good discussion about this in another thread? Wasn't the Atkinson cycle engine a limitation to how far you can go electric with the Prius platform? MAybe I'm wrong.
 

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Yep, I'm wrong. Engine wasn't the limitation. But the electric motor size was. Does this retrofit swap out electric motors to a larger one? That will limit how fast you can go before the car behaves as Toyota intended.
 

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These are stop gap measures that aren't going to be worth a _____ in a few years to most people. This conversion isn't likely to make economic sense to the vast majority of drivers. If your driving conditions are like mine this will result in very very little savings in gas. Others however that live in areas alway congested will see decent gas savings but not likely on the order of 10,000 dollars worth.
 

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I want a pure EV. The Volt fits the bill...barely. But it does go 40 miles at freeway speeds, so that flies with me. I'm still one of the fence-sitters that would be willing to go to the competitors (if there are any).
 

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Not this guy. If they could get it to drive like a real car it would be worth the risk, but not a street legal golf car. And now that you mentioned it, would it even be street legal in EV mode with only a top speed of 35??

I don't understand this train of logic. I think of the Prius conversion as a great step toward the Volt which is a great step toward not using fossil fuels at all.

All electric mode is best at slower speeds! Why? because the ICE is at it's worst efficiency when it's idling or having to operate outside of it's sweet spot. I feel the greatest advantages of using electric drivetrains are (in order of importance):


1) The ability to use renewably generated electricity or at least electricity that was generated using home-grown energy sources. This will help ween us from our foreign debt chains. Since battery technology is not very advanced at the moment we can only get around 40 miles a day of driving without breaking the bank. After a few years of aging (lithium-ion batteries start aging the day they are produced) and running your AC and radio at full blast don't expect too much. Many people that have to hit speeds of over 35 mph during their daily commutes will probably run out of juice and have to start up their ICEs anyway. Of course every person has their own driving routine but most people don't jump on a highway for less than 10 minutes. Even if it's proven that many do I will argue that they will still use a lot of energy positioning themselves to get up to higher speeds as well as dealing with city driving, stop signs, traffic lights, traffic, etc. let's be realistic. How much will the average driver gain from driving all electric at higher speeds when compared to the Prius design? I know I'm setting myself up for being flamed but I just want to get to the truth and to keep our eyes on the goal - get off of foreign oil.


2) The ability to not use energy while at rest. Think of all the cars in traffic jams right now. All belching noxious fumes as the engines are running in their most inefficient mode. Wasting gas and making pollution. Accelerating up to speed and then decelerating to stop. The engine is shifting the transmission, running though all kinds of speed changes, etc. Running in this mode is inefficient, polluting, and not gaining back energy from regen, etc.

3) The ability to recover decelerating energy. Regen systems recover the energy that was normally wasted on brakes. Additionally, it will almost eliminate the need to constantly replace brake pads. This will also cut down on brake powder pollution. Win-win.


These hybrid conversions some of you so quickly dismiss are able to enjoy all three of the listed advantages. You can call these old technology hybrid conversions glorified golf carts (the same derogatory label some people use to dismiss BEVs) but I will argue that you get 95% or more of the advantages that the Volt will give you. The Volt is obviously a more refined extension and I for one am looking forward to driving it in the next 3 or 4 years but please don't hate on other options. These hybrid conversions gets us moving toward the goal and will help those that simply cannot wait for the Volt. You can get a conversion today and enjoy the new electrified lifestyle while you wait patiently for the next generation - The Volt generation.
 
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