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An article about an early adopter.

For those of you with an itch and money to burn.
http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/may08/6174/priussb2

Hybrids Plus installs kits for conversion of a Prius to a plug-in with a 31 mile range. Hybrids Plus supplies a PHEV-15 conversion kit ($21,600 installed). The kit is powered by a 4.5kWh battery pack, containing roughly 600 lithium-ion cells manufactured in China by A123 Systems. It has a single charge range of 15 miles. A second model with a much better benefit:cost ratio, the PHEV-30 conversion ($28,800 installed), uses a second battery pack to supply twice the range, 30 miles.

http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/may08/6174/priussb2

http://hybrids-plus.com/
 

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I just hope battery manufacturers can get the price of those lithium-ion batteries down or this whole plug-in concept will be just another false start. Seriously, I looked at the price and what I would be able to reasonably do and realized that old fashioned lead acid batteries are about 10 times cheaper. So sad.

Thus, I'm thinking a good way to go is to do an electric car conversion using tried and true lead acid batteries and toss in a limp-home gen set to make yourself a LHH (limp-home hybrid). Maybe I should call it the poor man's hybrid. Anyway, I'm not getting my hopes up that we will see a lot of plug-in hybrids on the roads anytime soon. Those batteries are just plain out of reach for most people. It's a shame.
 

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I just hope battery manufacturers can get the price of those lithium-ion batteries down or this whole plug-in concept will be just another false start. Seriously, I looked at the price and what I would be able to reasonably do and realized that old fashioned lead acid batteries are about 10 times cheaper. So sad.

Thus, I'm thinking a good way to go is to do an electric car conversion using tried and true lead acid batteries and toss in a limp-home gen set to make yourself a LHH (limp-home hybrid). Maybe I should call it the poor man's hybrid. Anyway, I'm not getting my hopes up that we will see a lot of plug-in hybrids on the roads anytime soon. Those batteries are just plain out of reach for most people. It's a shame.
Do not fret, the poor will easily afford an air car:

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I've seen hacks posted on the internet where the person got their batteries out of Prius from the junkyard. Gotta be a lot cheaper than any of the alternative mentioned above.
 

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100 MPG, 40 miles range, for less than $27,100 plus TTL

Hymotion's L5 Plug-in conversion module is designed for Toyota Prius model years 2004 – 2008. This modification enables your Prius to achieve 100 MPG by electrically supplementing the hybrid drive train for up to 40 miles. When the Hymotion L5 module is fully depleted, your Prius will function as a standard hybrid until you recharge. (1)

The L5 will cost $9995, which includes a standard 3 year warranty and installation at a Certified Hymotion Installer Partner (CHIP) locations. In addition, all applicable taxes and a $400 destination fee must be paid upon installation. (2)

From Kelly Blue Book’s website (3), the suggested retail price of 2005 Toyota Prius Hatchback Sedan with 75,000 miles is $16,705 and includes the following options:

4-Cyl. 1.5L Hybrid Engine
Automatic Transmission
Air Conditioning
Cruise Control
Traction Control
Power Steering
AM/FM Stereo
Rear Spoiler
Power Windows
Single Compact Disc
Alloy Wheels
Power Door Locks
Dual Front Air Bags
Tilt Wheel
ABS (4-Wheel)

The Kelley Blue Book Suggested Retail Value is representative of dealers' asking prices and is the starting point for negotiation between a consumer and a dealer. This Suggested Retail Value assumes that the vehicle has been fully reconditioned and has a clean title history – that is it looks new, is in excellent mechanical condition and needs no reconditioning. This value also takes into account the dealers' profit, costs for advertising, sales commissions and other costs of doing business. The final sale price will likely be less depending on the vehicle's actual condition, popularity, type of warranty offered and local market conditions.

Thus for $27,100 plus TTL, ($16,705 + $9,995 + $400 ) I can drive a 2005 Prius PHEV that gets >100 MPG for the first 30-40 miles, then 50 MPG until it is recharged. (4) It may not be 40 miles all EV, but it’s a start and it can be had today for around $25K if you purchase a used Prius in excellent shape. What a great way to “recondition” used Priuses and also help drive down costs of Li Ion batteries. Hum...maybe I should look into this...especially if gas hits $5.00/gallon this summer as predicted.

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1 http://www.a123systems.com/hymotion/products/N5_range_extender
2 http://www.a123systems.com/hymotion/products/faqs
3 http://www.kbb.com/kbb/UsedCars/2005_Toyota_Prius_Hybrid.aspx
4 http://www.a123systems.com/hymotion/faqs/driving_your_plug_in_hybrid
 
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