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Ricardo Bazzarella and his partner Akos Toth founded Hymotion only two years ago. In that time they have developed a conversion kit for retrofitting Toyota Priuses and Ford Escapes to plug-in hybrid capability and were bought by A123 Systems last May. Since launching they have converted and delivered 35 vehicles, mostly to various governments and fleets for testing purposes; another 30 are due to be delivered in the next few months.

The Hymotion plug-in battery pack uses lithium ion cells supplied by A123 and is designed to fit in the same package size as the OEM nickel metal hydride pack. The converted vehicles have an electric-only range of about 35 miles. As some of the early production Priuses start to reach the end of the battery lifespan over the next few years, HyMotion hopes to tap into the replacement market with their plug-in kits. Hymotion is hoping that aftermarket, as well is increased interest from governments, utilities and other fleets, allows them to grow deliveries from a few dozen this year to as many as 2,000 in 2008.

[Source: Toronto Star]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 4 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      This might be an affordable solution for people who, like me, have an underwhelming paycheck. An old Prius with a useless battery should be pretty cheap. If the new batteries are under $5,000 this could be a way to stop buying gas.
      I wonder if it will drive at regular speeds with battery only power.
      • 7 Years Ago
      What was interesting is that Hymotion is planning on producing plug-in LiIon upgrades for all Prius models, including the early "pre-2004" Priuses. Most of the other hybrid upgraders are concentrating on the 2004 and later Prius and maybe the Ford Escape Hybrid, and are ignoring the earlier models.
      • 7 Years Ago
      5 minutes of research on the Hymotion site showed that the conversions are still limited to the standard Prius' 38mph electric-only top speed. So you can drive on most surface roads electric-only, but highways will still require the gas motor. No problem, really.
      • 7 Years Ago
      In the first quarter of 2008, A123 Systems and Hymotion plan to market a $9500 USD add-on for the Toyota Prius. This cost, which includes installation, is expected to increase your Prius' fuel economy to 150 MPG in the city. Pretty dang impressive! If it works reliably and safely: I do have some minor qualms about installing a massive lithium ion battery in my car ...

      CrossTalk: http://dataland.wordpress.com/2007/12/19/150-mpg-toyota-prius/