Get 120 MPG Out of Your Prius (Plug It In)

  • Published on March 11th, 2008 by
 

Prius, PHEV, EV, plug-in, electricity

55 MPG isn’t good enough for you? Then try adding a plug to your hybrid.

The electric-car company ZAP, in conjunction with Hybrids Plus, has announced it will offer plug-in hybrid conversions for the Toyota Prius and the Ford Escape Hybrid:

Hybrid vehicles retrofitted with systems from Hybrids Plus of Boulder, Colorado can achieve a significantly greater fuel economy. In tests these systems increased hybrid fuel economy up to 120 miles per gallon in the city and up to 90 mpg on the highway. The cost for the conversion ranges from $24,000 to $36,000 depending on the vehicle and size of battery pack.





All gasoline electric hybrids currently produced by major automakers today are essentially gasoline-powered vehicles. They reduce emissions and improve fuel efficiency compared to conventional cars, however they are fueled exclusively by gasoline. The plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) will allow the owner to charge their vehicle from a normal household wall outlet. By integrating a larger battery pack and a plug-in charging system, it becomes a new vehicle drawing energy from two fuel sources.

While doubling the price of your vehicle is not appealing to everyone, there are plenty of folks in the US who already pay this much for a new vehicle. Would I do it if I had $50,000 to blow? You bet.

But this is just the first step, and first steps are usually expensive. ZAP has plans in the works to offer new plug-in electric vehicles (PHEVs) right off the assembly line:

“This collaboration allows more hybrid owners to have the most efficient vehicles on the road today,” said ZAP CEO Steve Schneider. “ZAP dealers are preparing to offer a new level of service in the coming years involving mass-market hybrid and electric cars from Detroit Electric, so experience with plug-in hybrids can accelerate this process.”

Even though it sounds like a great idea, it’s hard to imagine these guys do enough business to stay afloat. For a cheaper option see yesterday’s post: Sick of Gas?: Convert Your Car To Run On Electricity.

Or you can just wait until 2010, when Toyota will release its own plug-in version of the Prius, and we’ll hopefully see GM’s plug-in, the long-awaited Chevy Volt.

Posts Related to Plug-in Hybrid Electric Cars:

Snapshot of Battery Technology for Plug-in Hybrid Electric Cars

Hybrid Hacks and Toyota Yawns?

A Biodiesel Prius? VW To Release 69.9 MPG Diesel Hybrid

Will Plug-In Hybrids Become the Standard?

via AutoBlogGreen and ZAPWorld.com

Photo Credit





About the Author

In a past life, Clayton was a professional blogger and editor of Gas 2.0, Important Media’s blog covering the future of sustainable transportation. He was also the Managing Editor for GO Media, the predecessor to Important Media.

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  • jim

    ZAP is a sham company with a long history of failure and deceit. Read the article in Wired/April 2008.

  • jim

    ZAP is a sham company with a long history of failure and deceit. Read the article in Wired/April 2008.

  • Steve

    ZAP is a complete scam, like Jim said above. Read these articles from Wired Magazine:

    http://www.wired.com/cars/futuretransport/magazine/16-04/ff_zapped?currentPage=1

    http://blog.wired.com/cars/2008/03/the-zap-x-and-a.html

    You’re a fool if you believe ZAP will ever do anything honest.

  • Steve

    ZAP is a complete scam, like Jim said above. Read these articles from Wired Magazine:

    http://www.wired.com/cars/futuretransport/magazine/16-04/ff_zapped?currentPage=1

    http://blog.wired.com/cars/2008/03/the-zap-x-and-a.html

    You’re a fool if you believe ZAP will ever do anything honest.

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  • E. Bolor

    We have developed a design/concept of an almost perpetual car which runs on battery power for almost unlimited distance against present and future battery technologies. This technology can also convert present Hybrid automobiles to run thousands of miles without charging the batteries. Interested parties can contact us at GasAlternative@yahoo.com.

  • E. Bolor

    We have developed a design/concept of an almost perpetual car which runs on battery power for almost unlimited distance against present and future battery technologies. This technology can also convert present Hybrid automobiles to run thousands of miles without charging the batteries. Interested parties can contact us at GasAlternative@yahoo.com.

  • E. Bolor

    We have developed a design/concept of an almost perpetual car which runs on battery power for almost unlimited distance against present and future battery technologies. This technology can also convert present Hybrid automobiles to run thousands of miles without charging the batteries. Interested parties can contact us at GasAlternative@yahoo.com.

  • john

    Can you tell me the advantage of this?

    If you do the math it doesn’t make sense.

    $36,000/$5.00 gal = 7200 gal

    my current car gets 25 mpg combined thus

    7200 gal x 25 mpg = 180,000 miles before

    I break even on the up front costs.

    That is 9 years of driving for me!

    This is nuts!

  • john

    Can you tell me the advantage of this?

    If you do the math it doesn’t make sense.

    $36,000/$5.00 gal = 7200 gal

    my current car gets 25 mpg combined thus

    7200 gal x 25 mpg = 180,000 miles before

    I break even on the up front costs.

    That is 9 years of driving for me!

    This is nuts!

  • frank

    how much will your light bill go up?

  • frank

    how much will your light bill go up?

  • frank

    how much will your light bill go up?

  • Harry Freeman

    While we should all be concerned that the energy needed to provide electric cars with their needed charge for their batteries, let me say this, all electric power plants are designed to get the most energy (electricity) from the sources that they use i.e. natural gas, coal, hydro, wind, nuclear, based upon the rules delineated by the rulers. This is Capitalism to its finest and the economic engine for the American economy. This is not political. Our sources of electric power, have to meet known limitations of their process and meet increasingly demanding regulation involving environmental protection (pollution including green house gases) and worker safety (OSHA). While we would all like to receive free energy, nothing is free.

    The internal combustion engine by contrast are a compromise of power, environment, and efficiency. From my education as a mechanical engineer (with an electrical engineer minor) I understand that the conversion from stored electrical power (batteries) to actual work is usually more efficient than most combustion engines. What we as a society need to decide is whether the state of engineering, capitalism, and politics, is a compromise. In general, if the state of the art (engineering) is viable to motivate the acceptance of the technology, then it will succeed. For most consumers, this means, will it save me money. As of yet, I haven’t decided. This is where we need our political leaders to LEAD. They have the resources to decide what is best for our Country and the world to provide the appropriate incentives to the industrial industries to move us in the right direction if they choose to lead.

  • Harry Freeman

    While we should all be concerned that the energy needed to provide electric cars with their needed charge for their batteries, let me say this, all electric power plants are designed to get the most energy (electricity) from the sources that they use i.e. natural gas, coal, hydro, wind, nuclear, based upon the rules delineated by the rulers. This is Capitalism to its finest and the economic engine for the American economy. This is not political. Our sources of electric power, have to meet known limitations of their process and meet increasingly demanding regulation involving environmental protection (pollution including green house gases) and worker safety (OSHA). While we would all like to receive free energy, nothing is free.

    The internal combustion engine by contrast are a compromise of power, environment, and efficiency. From my education as a mechanical engineer (with an electrical engineer minor) I understand that the conversion from stored electrical power (batteries) to actual work is usually more efficient than most combustion engines. What we as a society need to decide is whether the state of engineering, capitalism, and politics, is a compromise. In general, if the state of the art (engineering) is viable to motivate the acceptance of the technology, then it will succeed. For most consumers, this means, will it save me money. As of yet, I haven’t decided. This is where we need our political leaders to LEAD. They have the resources to decide what is best for our Country and the world to provide the appropriate incentives to the industrial industries to move us in the right direction if they choose to lead.

  • Harry Freeman

    While we should all be concerned that the energy needed to provide electric cars with their needed charge for their batteries, let me say this, all electric power plants are designed to get the most energy (electricity) from the sources that they use i.e. natural gas, coal, hydro, wind, nuclear, based upon the rules delineated by the rulers. This is Capitalism to its finest and the economic engine for the American economy. This is not political. Our sources of electric power, have to meet known limitations of their process and meet increasingly demanding regulation involving environmental protection (pollution including green house gases) and worker safety (OSHA). While we would all like to receive free energy, nothing is free.

    The internal combustion engine by contrast are a compromise of power, environment, and efficiency. From my education as a mechanical engineer (with an electrical engineer minor) I understand that the conversion from stored electrical power (batteries) to actual work is usually more efficient than most combustion engines. What we as a society need to decide is whether the state of engineering, capitalism, and politics, is a compromise. In general, if the state of the art (engineering) is viable to motivate the acceptance of the technology, then it will succeed. For most consumers, this means, will it save me money. As of yet, I haven’t decided. This is where we need our political leaders to LEAD. They have the resources to decide what is best for our Country and the world to provide the appropriate incentives to the industrial industries to move us in the right direction if they choose to lead.

  • Careless

    With $30,000 you could buy gas to drive a normal Prius 300,000 miles. Drive 300,000 miles with a 120 mpg car and you’ve spent $10,000 at $4/g.

    This is completely stupid even if it is real. But hey, it’s got to be more real than “gasalternative@yahoo.com”

  • Careless

    With $30,000 you could buy gas to drive a normal Prius 300,000 miles. Drive 300,000 miles with a 120 mpg car and you’ve spent $10,000 at $4/g.

    This is completely stupid even if it is real. But hey, it’s got to be more real than “gasalternative@yahoo.com”

  • Careless

    With $30,000 you could buy gas to drive a normal Prius 300,000 miles. Drive 300,000 miles with a 120 mpg car and you’ve spent $10,000 at $4/g.

    This is completely stupid even if it is real. But hey, it’s got to be more real than “gasalternative@yahoo.com”

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