Though they may be a little expensive to some of us out there, hybrids are really beginning to flood the market. The darling of them all, the Prius, is finally getting some competition. But what if you wanted to extend the miles per gallon ratio even further, what would you do?
You would follow in the steps of all the nerds and mechanics that came before you, and “do it yourself.”
Plug-In Hybrid kits are becoming more and more prevalent and, as such, a little less expensive (emphasis on the little). Depending on the choice of battery you want to boost your mileage, and reduce your dependency on the fuel in your car, you can pay anywhere between $6,000 and $30,000 and up.
An article in Time alerted me to this particular phenomenon, touching on a topic that we at Green Options have touched on before (check out the links below). Time told the story of one Chris Cox, from Derry of New Hampshire, a database administrator, who wanted to do something for the environment, and make a statement in doing so.
Mr. Cox paid $10,000 for a 207-lb Hymotion lithium-ion battery module, which fits snugly into the spare-tire space behind the backseat of his Prius. There is no external change to the Prius, it takes a total of six hours to charge to full capacity, and though Cox admits he probably won’t make his money back on the purchase, he says that he did it so that he “…could put the word out there and say, ‘Hey, this is possible.”
Just like gadget-files, turning your hybrid into a plug-in hybrid is definitely an early adopter’s idea. Despite prohibitive costs, if the money is there, the ease at which you can install is definitely on your side. No longer do you need to be even a car hobbyist, and no after-market product can void your cars warranty either.
The above mentioned product that Mr. Cox bought was they Hymotion battery, from the company owned by A123 Systems and based in Watertown, Mass., and one of two finalists to provide General Motors with a lithium-ion battery for their upcoming Chevy Volt. When it goes on sale in 2010, the Chevy Volt is expected to be the first commercially available US plug-in the US.
At the moment, conversions are limited to certain car types. The easiest conversions are for 2004-2008 Prius (not 2001-2003 Prius) and the Ford Escape/Mercury Mariner Hybrid.
More from the GO Network
Flex-Fuel Kits Convert Toyota Prius to E85 Ethanol (For Less Than $1000)
Plug-in Hybrid Drivers are Charged Up
Sick of Gas?: Convert Your Car To Run On Electricity
Will Plug-In Hybrids Become the Standard?