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At least a few dozen people around the country have now done one-off conversions of hybrids like the Toyota Prius and Ford Escape to transform them into plug-in vehicles. For those who may not have the hardware hacker gene in their DNA, the first commercially available plug-in conversion kit is now on the market from A123 Systems subsidiary HyMotion. Popular Mechanics Detroit Editor Larry Webster recently had the chance to sample a converted Prius with the HyMotion kit for a couple of days. The

You've heard about plug-in hybrid conversions to the Toyota Prius. Now, a new company offers another eco-upgrade - E85 conversions. A Dutch firm named GreenFuelSystems has created an E85 bio-ethanol conversion kit that is available for 549 Euros. While the English-language version of the company's site is lacking in substantive information, they are currently being hailed as the first group to bring an E85 conversion kit to the market.

Responding to a Tokyo Shimbun story that said discussions with GM were underway, Toyota says that no decision has been made about potentially building the Prius at New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. (NUMMI), the joint Toyota-GM plant in California. The AP reports that Toyota is stepping back from the rumor that the Prius could be built in North America for the first time. The Prius is currently made in Japan and China. Officially, Toyota's statement said, "We are always considering the best pla

Photo by OrangeLimey. Licensed under Creative Commons license 2.0.

Don't accuse Seth "Robot Chicken" Green of getting a Prius just because it's the trendy thing to do. At the recent Tribeca Film Festival, Green was talking to Contact Music and said he's most impressed with the way his new Prius saves him money at the pump and that he can drive alone in the carpool lane. Whatever it takes, I guess. Green doesn't even like the way it looks; he said the car was "horribly ugly. It's not an attractive car at all." Still, he ramped it up to 111 mph on the way to San

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