100 MPG+ Plug-In Hybrids Already Available (Check ’em Out)
Not everyone is waiting until 2010 to get their first plug-in hybrid. As I reported previously, Hybrids Plus out of Boulder, CO, is offering conversions for the Toyota Prius and Ford Escape hybrids, turning them into 100 MPG+ superstars.
I’ve collected a little more background on Prius hybrid hacks, and a few more resources. Check out this video, which should give you a good feeling for what getting 100 MPG would be like:
[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/9HjI1zPHUvI" width="425" height="355" wmode="transparent" /]
Hybrids Plus’ conversions add lithium-ion batteries to the trunk, and come in either 30 or 60 mile ranges, depending on the buyer’s average commute. The conversion doubles fuel economy by running on a blended mode of gasoline and electricity. And here’s a 30-second video to show you how it’s done:
[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/4OOkgHCgnK0" width="425" height="355" wmode="transparent" /]
But Hybrids Plus isn’t the only group interested in Prius Hacks. Another organization, CalCars.org, claims to have built the world’s first plug-in Prius back in 2004, using lead acid batteries to prove it would work. CalCars maintains a list of shops offering plug-in hybrid conversions and how-to advice.
While fun to look at, these conversions are probably only fit for the economically solvent or seriously committed. Even Hybrids Plus admits their prices are steep, but it’s possible that prices will drop as production volume increases. For a more in-depth look at Hybrids-Plus, take a look at their professional video, which covers all the bases:
[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/3-oME7zhlWM" width="425" height="355" wmode="transparent" /]