First Plug-In Prius Delivered
Based on their sad experience trying to sell all-electric vehicles, automobile manufacturers are convinced that the public will not buy cars that have to be plugged in. Unfortunately this has made hybrid manufacturers shy away from giving customers the opportunity to plug in hybrid vehicles.
So, third party companies are filling the gap. EnergyCS has just delivered the first retrofitted Toyota Prius that can be plugged in.
Los Angeles, March 31, 2006--EnergyCS, the Monrovia-based engineering firm, announced today that it has delivered the first Toyota Prius sedan retrofitted with plug-in hybrid technology to California's South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) for testing and evaluation... Using a normal house outlet, a nightly re-charge of about $1 worth of electricity cuts the Toyota Prius gasoline consumption in half for over 50 miles the follwing day.
The conversion involves more than simply adding a plug. New lithium-ion batteries allow the car to hold more electric power than what a driver could expect to harvest from braking.
The FAQ state that most drivers will get about 100 miles per gallon. But with mild acceleration and low speeds - 55 mph on the Freeway - 200mpg could be possible for the 50 - 60 mile boost range.
At low speeds this vehicle will operate all electric. At higher speeds the gasoline engine will engage, but electric power will continue to provide a boost.
You may find at 55mph that 1/4 of the power is coming from gasoline and 3/4 from electricity, but at 75mph the contribution may be 2/3rd gas and 1/3rd electric. Even though the electric contribution is the same in both cases, the gasoline contribution (and thus mpg) can be dramatically different.
The car becomes a normal hybrid after the 50-60 mile boost range. And its still a normal hybrid if you forgot to plug in the car the night before. There's no requirement to ever plug the vehicle in - just the opportunity.