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I saw a note of a "battery only" feature on European Prius hybrid in the Oct. 23rd edition of U.S. News and World Report's letters to the editor. One of the magazine's readers, Richard Rosenbaum, wrote in to ask why this feature, which allows the Prius to move solely on electric power, wasn't included in American versions of the world's most popular hybrid. I've never taken a ride in a European Prius, and I wanted to find out more about this button.

It's not only the oil companies that make money when gas prices soar. Aftermarket hybrid hackers (CNN Money's term) like EDrive or Hymotion that will turn your Prius into a 100 mpg plug-in version will soon be doing quite well, thank you (read more here). The two companies will be selling the conversion kits by the end of the year. The EDrive kit will cost you $12,000, installation, and Hymotion's kit is $500 more. Hymotion co-founder Ricardo Bazzarella said that in 12 months his company's kit w