There are plenty of ways to give your Prius a plug, but with an average cost around $8,000-$10,000, the change is not cheap. There are some budget conversions, but they don't provide a lot of benefits. Some Florida residents, though, will soon be able to get help paying for the plug-in hybrid (PHEV) conversion – 90 of them anyway. The state will use $500,000 from the Department of Energy's stimulus fund to pay some 2004-2009 Prius drivers rebates of $5,000 to turn their car into a PHEV.
According to Toyota, its plug-in Prius hybrids are averaging 65 miles per gallon in real world testing. This is an improvement of 15 mpg over the recently-unveiled 2010 Prius. The secret to the big fuel mileage increase is a battery with the capacity to store much more energy than the unit in the standard Prius. This means a lithium ion technology and a much greater expense. So far, Toyota has not committed to a date when you'll be able to actually purchase a PHEV Prius for yourself, but it does
Ford has been pretty consistent in saying that it doesn't expect plug-in vehicles to reach mass-market volumes until at least 2012-13. That doesn't necessarily mean they won't have any plug-in vehicles until then. It only means that they don't expect batteries to reach a price and durability level that will allow them to be sold in large volumes until then. While companies like Mitsubishi, GM, Nissan and Toyota are all expected to have plug-in vehicles on the road by the end of this decade, all
Plug-In Supply has just released its new $4995 kit which converts your 2004-2008 Prius into a Plug-In Hybrid Vehicle (PHEV). Because the system is based on the Cal Cars reference design and uses lead-acid batteries as opposed to the more expensive lithium or nickel-based batteries, this new kit is cheaper than many other PHEV conversion options. According to Plug-In Supply, the kit will allow your Prius to operate in electric-only mode for up to fifteen miles and at speeds of up to fifty-two mil