35 Articles
Fleet tests of plug-in Prius moved up to early 2009, no retail timetable yet

Toyota President, Katsuaki Watanabe this week announced that the start of fleet testing for plug-in capable Priuses had been moved up by a year. At this year's Detroit Auto Show, Watanabe announced that several hundred Priuses with the ability to be plugged in would be delivered to government and commercial fleets in 2010 for field testing. That schedule has been adjusted so that the PHEVs would now be introduced in early 2009 with several hundred on the road by the end of the year. Over on the

Plug-In Supply launches new Prius PHEV kit for $4995

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

Converted Plug-In Prius destroyed by fire!

The first known instance of a plug-in hybrid car going up in flames occurred on June 7 in Columbia, South Carolina to a 2008 Prius that had been converted to plug-in capability for the Central Electric Power Cooperative. The conversion was performed with a Hybrids-Plus PHEV15 conversion kit that uses an A123 Systems lithium ion battery pack. The incident is still under investigation by Phoenix, Arizona-based Electric Transportation Engineering Corporation. Initial information indicates the fire

Next-gen Prius coming in January with more power, efficiency

The current Prius is baked from a refined recipe that results in a roomy, practical and efficient vehicle lurking under an eco-statement exterior, or at least we thought so. Five years on, it's still the most popular way to conspicuously consume under the guise of saving the planet. Toyota hasn't been resting on the success of its green badge of targeted consumerism, so we're going to see a new Pr

Argonne Lab tests EnerDel-equipped plug-in Prius

EnerDel's lithium-titanate battery has been independently tested by the Center for Transportation Research of the

95 years for a PHEV conversion to pay for itself in gas savings?

Last year, Google made some waves when they announced the RechargeIT project to convert a fleet of Toyota Priuses and Ford Escape hybrids to plug-in capability. The company has just issued their first progress report on the program, and the results may be disappointing for those promoting plug-in conversions. Right now the only way to get a plug-in hybrid is to buy an off-the shelf mode

Toyota delivers pair of plug-in Prius to California universities

Leaving no stone unturned when looking at a more efficient future, Toyota has teamed up with the Univerisity of California to further study the viability of plug-in hybrid versions of the Prius. As part of the research, Toyota donated two prototype Prius models modified for plug-in operations to the Institute of Transportation Studies at UC Berkeley and the Advanced Power and Energy Program at UC Irvine. The two university programs will study ways to measure and test fuel economy and emissions,

Toyota reiterates caution on lithium ion batteries

General Motors is forging ahead with lithium ion battery development for both the plug-in hybrid Saturn Vue

Specs of the plug-in Prius Toyota is testing in Japan

I'm just going to assume you've heard that Toyota is testing a plug-in Prius on public roads in Japan. If this has slipped by you, check out the links below. Otherwise, you know that the PHEV uses the standard nickel metal hydride batteries, not new and fancy lithium ion batteries. So, what does the plug-in NiMH give you? BusinessWeek fills us in.

CalCars: Toyota does not approve of plugging in your Prius

Pushed by talk in Congress about possibly giving incentives to taxpayers for converting standard hybrids to plug-in hybrids, Toyota today announced their reasons for not supporting PHEVs. In a memo written by Charles E. Ing, Director, Government Affairs Toyota Motor North America, and posted over at pro-PHEV advocates CalCars, Toyota

A123Systems buys out Hymotion

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 on

Southern California evaluates Valence powered EnergyCS PHEVs

EnergyCS is converting Toyota Prius hybrids to plug-in capability using lithium-ion batteries from Valence Technology for a test with the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD). AQMD is the air pollution agency for Southern California, and they want to increase the awareness of plug-in hybrids. The test vehicles are using a conversion kit desinged for 2004-07 Prius models. EnergyCS de

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