• Feb 22, 2006
Toronto-based Hymotion has unveiled unique plug-in kits for the Toyota Prius and Ford Escape Hybrid that it will initially be selling only to fleet customers. The plug-in kits add a supplementary pack of lithium-ion batteries to each vehicle’s original NiMH system. The new Li-ion packs tap into the vehicles regenerative braking to restore energy and can also be fed from the engine and the power grid when it’s plugged in. Aside from that each hybrid operates normally and would return to using its factory battery pack.
A Prius kit for fleet orders over 100 will cost about $9,500 CN or $8,286 US. Pricing hasn’t been announced for the Escape Hybrid plug-in kit, but Hymotion promises it will be 2.5 times more powerful than the Prius kit, and subsequently more expensive.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 11 Comments
      Sgt. Hulka
      • 8 Years Ago
      $8300?? No problem. What is cost when one is out to save mankind.

      "For Mother Earth"
      - Bumper sticker seen on Prius in NE Ohio
      • 8 Years Ago
      9000$ is a lot. But i thought maybe, since a car like this could feasibly never need to fill up on gas, it would drastically reduce the cost of running it. But then i looked at the cost of electricity. I'm from Montreal, where just about all our electricity comes from hydro damns. Our electricity is therefore clean (considering that the damage has been done, as far as the damns go) and pretty cheap. So i took us as an example with some optimism that some day most of the world would be running on sustainable energy. We pay around 4 cents US for a kilo-watt-hour, which is a convoluted unit of energy, equal to 3.6 mega joules. Meanwhile, gasoline contains about 130 mega joules per gallon. So that's 90 mega joules per dollar for hydroelectricity, vs about 60 for gasoline, taking $2.20 a gallon. So you'd be getting about 1.5 times your miles per dollar in one of these cars, which would take a long time to recoup the 9000$

      Still, plug in hybrids really do offer a gradual path to 100% electric vehicles. To me, if battery technology comes far enough along, they could just be simpler than, producing electricity, using the electricity to make hydrogen, and storing that hydrogen on the car. Could be easier to just store the electricity in the car. We already have a network for distributing electricity, though it'd need to be beefed up to handle all of transportation. It just seems like a gradual progress to build plug in hybrids and eventually 100% electric cars than to make this ggreat leap to hydrogen fuel cells.
      • 8 Years Ago

      Hmmmm

      lets see

      $8000

      That would approximate about 80 fill ups in my old Suburban.

      Talk about not worth it.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I'll wait until competition drives these prices down.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Hulka, I believe the cost is about $600 for a nice Trek road bicycle to take to work.
      • 8 Years Ago
      that would just be too cool if the plug really was the same size as the hood of the car...
      i'd buy the prius and the system just to feel like a Little.
      • 8 Years Ago
      So, in effect, you are paying $8300 for additional batteries so the car still doesn't run any differently than if it didn't have the additional batteries. But you can plug them in, too, in case the technologically-advanced battery charging system built into the car doesn't have the capacity to charge the additional batteries you just added so that they can be charged in order to not do anything differently. "Copper Relief of Abraham Lincoln" comes to mind...
      • 8 Years Ago
      "Fed from engine? As in it recovers energy given off in the form of heat in the engine bay?"

      No, fed from engine as in the engine powers a generator that produces electricity and recharges the battery.

      8000$... wow talk about not worth it.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Here are some answers from another "plug-in" company:

      http://www.calcars.org/calcars-faq.html

      Q. What about PHEV battery longevity and safety? I've heard lithium-ion batteries can be dangerous if they overheat.
      A. Nickel-metal hydride batteries, proven for many years in hybrids to be safe, could go into PHEVs today -- they would be designed more like the ones Toyota put in its 2002 RAV4 EV compact all-electric SUV than like current hybrid batteries. (Engineers' note: hybrids need "power batteries," PHEVs need "energy batteries.")
      The performance, longevity and safety of lithium-ion batteries are improving rapidly. The Electric Power Research Institute says that lithium-ion batteries are ready now. DaimlerChrysler is using them in some of its prototype PHEV Sprinter commercial vans. And the Valence Technology li-ion batteries in the EDrive Systems conversions include a phosphate additive that makes it nearly impossible for them to burn or explode.

      Q: I love the idea of powering my car from solar power. How about putting PV cells on the roof of a PHEV?
      A: Car rooftops' surface area is too small to make a significant contribution. Unless/until they become more efficient, and are part of the original installation, they will seriously affect the car's aerodynamics and will be far less durable than metal. Photovoltaic arrays belong on stationary rooftops.

      Q: How do fuel cell cars fit into the picture?
      A: Fuel cell cars should be plug-in hybrids so that the fuel cell is used only for extended range, and the fuel cell stack and hydrogen storage can be smaller. (See EnergyCS's Greg Hanssen's Hydrogen Bridges.) We believe, however, that the advantages of flex-fuel PHEVs (and, counting conversion efficiencies, the 4X energy storage advantage of batteries over fuel cells) mean that the commercialization of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles may never happen.


      Matt
      • 8 Years Ago
      I'll agree with others and say the price is pretty ridiculous.

      Why would a plug-in kit require additional batteries? If I were interested in such a thing I'd just want to use it to keep my ordinary batteries topped off to reduce the use of the gasoline engine for shorter trips.

      Maybe they are looking to sell this thing to government fleets, since they are generally a lot more willing to part with (taxpayer) money.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Fed from engine? As in it recovers energy given off in the form of heat in the engine bay?