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We Get An Early Steer Of The Toyota Mirai, Volkswagen Passat HyMotion And Audi A7 H-Tron

The LA Auto Show is known for its environmentally friendly vehicle debuts. At last year's show, hydrogen fuel cell concepts from Honda and Toyota joined a lease-ready Hyundai Tucson FCEV to cast a green hue over the convention center. This year, automakers took us a step closer to a fuel cell future by offering drives of their hydrogen-electric hybrids.

We get an early steer of the Toyota Mirai, Volkswagen Passat HyMotion and Audi A7 H-Tron

Translogic takes a ride in the 2016 Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, and follows that with a spin in the Volkswagen Passat HyMotion test vehicle and Audi A7 Sportback h-tron quattro concept at the 2014 LA Auto Show.

Toyota is certainly grabbing attention with the pricing of its Mirai fuel-cell vehicle, but Volkswagen is proving it understands hydrogen too at this year's Los Angeles Auto Show with versions of the Golf SportWagen and Passat that showcase its HyMotion system. The German brand is already testing the technology with a fleet of vehicles in the US.

Surprise Entry Into The Show's Green Theme This Year

Amid the flurry of hydrogen announcements from Toyota and Honda last night, Volkwagen has something to add: a new hydrogen fuel cell concept vehicle. This will be the first VW hydrogen fuel cell vehicle in many years – remember the Tiguan Hy-Motion back in 2008? – and it comes as a bit of a surprise.

When Consumer Reports tested out the Hymotion L5 plug-in Toyota Prius conversion earlier this year, they weren't overwhelmed with the results. Sure, the mileage they observed was boosted to about 67 mpg over the first 35 miles of the drive, but that didn't match the claims of 100 mpg (or more) that Hymotion and A123 Systems make about their product.

When Consumer Reports tested out the Hymotion L5 plug-in Toyota Prius conversion earlier this year, they weren't overwhelmed with the results. Sure, the mileage they observed was boosted to about 67 mpg over the first 35 miles of the drive, but that didn't match the claims of 100 mpg (or more) that Hymotion and A123 Systems make about their product.

Click above for a high-res gallery of the 2010 Toyota Prius

Click above for high-res image gallery of the Hymotion Prius

Chris Duffey - East Bay Express

Dr. John Patten of Western Michigan University recently installed one of HyMotion's L5 plug-in conversion kits in his Toyota Prius as part of his work in educating people on alternative energy. The HyMotion kit is the first commercially available system that allows Priuses to become plug-in hybrids. Half of the total cost was paid for by the university with the rest coming from a Michigan Community Energy Project grant. Patten will conduct seminars and demonstrations at events around the state t

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

Click above for more shots of the Citroen C4 WRC HYmotion4 hybrid rally car

Peugeot-Citroen HYmotion4 hybrid drive architecture

All you Prius owners out there who have been waiting patiently to to start running on grid power can almost stop holding your breath. Hymotion, the company that has been developing a plug-in kit for the Prius, has now started taking deposits for the L5 conversion kit. The kit costs $9,995 plus $400 for shipping and, of course, any applicable taxes. That price includes installation at an approved shop and a three year warranty. The first deliveries and installations should start this July.

Later today, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom is expected to take delivery of three newly-converted plug-in Toyota Priuses. The cars will be used by the city and county for official business. The conversions were done by the crew at Pat's Garage in San Francisco using a kit from Hymotion. Hymotion was bought last year by lithium ion cell supplier A123 Systems. Hymotion claims their system can provide 30 miles of electric range for a Prius although the car's powertrain hasn't been modified. Getti

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.

Hot on the heels of A123Systems announcing that they would start selling plug-in hybrid conversion kits that are developed with Hymotion, A123 is now buying Hymotion outright. Hymotion developed and fabricates battery packs that can be installed in the spare tire well of a Toyota Prius. The battery packs have integrated battery charge management electronics. So far the Hymotion system has only be available to fleets but regular consumers will be able to buy them in 2008.

We know VW doesn't favor hybrids, but the company sure does like clean diesel, biodiesel and hydrogen. For example, I offer you the alternative energy technologies VW is showing off at the Designing Sustainable Mobility Summit in Southern California. For the ride-and-drive, VW has a Touareg V-10 TDI running on B5 biodiesel, a still-in-development, highly efficient, twin charger gasoline engine Jetta, and the Touran HyMotion hydrogen fuel cell vehicle (remember, the Touareg was just crowned the c

Fairfax County, Virginia is joining in with other municipalities like the city of Berkeley, California and adding plug-in hybrids to their vehicle fleet. Fairfax already has some conventional hybrids in use and last week, they took delivery of their first plug-in model. The new Prius was converted by Hymotion of Toronto, Canada. The stock Prius uses a NiMH battery pack, and Hymotion adds a 5 kWh lithium ion battery. The full factory powertrain is left intact, but the electrical storage capacity

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