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Revision as of 21:46, 24 February 2006

Production Hybrids such as the Honda Insight and Toyota Prius HSD may turn out to be the missing link of vehicles, as they are soley gas fueled car that do electric tricks, they are not Electric Cars, rather than a way to transition away from gasoline they are meerly a way to slightly reduce consumption. It's the transitioning away from gas as a fuel source which should really by a major priority for everyone. As the president sais "America is addicted to oil", Plug-In Hybrids may be a big part of the solution.

Hybrid Conversions or Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV) are hybrid cars that can use gas or electricity as sources of fuel, they can plug-in to fuel up with gas or electricity. These are usuaily hybrids which are modified, but might also include EV's with pusher or genset range extending trailers. The PHEV designation may also be found with a number denoting their electric-only range, such as PHEV-10 (for 10 miles of electric range) or PHEV-300 (In the case of the 300 mile SEVA:Tzero EV with it's gas fueled range trailer).


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Toyota Prius

There have been a number of sucessfull Prius Plus Conversions. Ron of CalCars has a PbA version and EDrive is expected to use Valance Li-ion batteries to perform conversions with ideal range. Both are based on the 2004 or newer (Gen2) Toyota Prius HSD and are now capable of charging from the grid using standard 120vac outlets. They can operate as pure EV's at speeds up to 34mph for the range of their larger batteries, which is about 10 miles for the PbA and 30 miles for the Li-ion battery packs. While also delivering vastly improved mileage at higher speeds in an EV-Heavy type of Mixed-mode which delivers roughly twice the gas mileage durring trips of twice their electric ranges (or 20 and 60 miles). Of course one should also consider the electric power required to recharge in these 100+ mpg situations (<$1 per gallon equivalent). Durring extended drives they operate just as a normal Prius and deliver their usuail mileage.

The SEVA:EAA is also working on instructions to help guide experianced EV Converters through the process. The project has rescently moved to it's own site which you are currently visiting!

News Articles

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Related Items

CalCars & PriusPlus



Dr. Andrew Frank

Dr. Frank of UC Davis and his teams of students have been experimenting with various advanced vehicle technologies for the last 25 years.

ACP Tzero

The SEVA:Tzero is an all electric vehicle sports ev with 300 miles of range. Though it can also function as a PHEV at about 30mpg on gas utilizing it's gas powered range extending trailer. In which case it becomes a PHEV-300 with unlimited gas range.

Wayne Brown

I'm aware of a few other people who have added additional battery capacity to Prii, although they did not grid-recharge, those projects are rather close to becomming PHEV projects.

Prof Jim Burns

Insight & M I M A

Unlike the Prius the Honda Insight doesn't have an electric only mode of opperation, as such at first glance it doesn't seem to be as attractive for conversion. However it's a very light and aerodynamic vehicle which makes it rather attractive for conversion.

Gary Graunke has done just that with his "Out-a-sight" Conversion at the evalbum and his homepage. Technically this should appear on the SEVA:Conversions page.

There is also a MIMA Manual IMA (Intigrated Motor Assist) control project which provides manual control over the IMA (Assist/Regen) on the Honda Insight. While not a PHEV project it might make it possible to utilize additional battery capacity in a Mixed-mode similar to the Prius at high speeds.

A local SEVA member is also working on a sort of odd Insight conversion, which is comming along rather slowly. See Ryan's PHEV Insight Project.

Hybrid Truck Project

An interesting projects to convert an existing Hybrid commuter bus into a PHEV Recreational Vehicle.

DaimlerChrysler announced a PHEV-20 Sprinter van at the HanoverTruck Show in Sept. 2004. It will have a 15kWh advanced Lithium-ion battery and 120hp continuous (280hp peak) electric motor.