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).
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 http://www.eaa-phev.org which you are currently visiting!
See also News
- State of the Union - What Bush Should be Saying. 
- alternet.org Car Owners in the Driver's Seat
- evworld.com Plug in my hybrid car? Why, you ask?
- Yahoo PriusPlus - Jul 1, 2004
- Yahoo Gridable- Hybrids - Sep 15, 2003
CalCars & PriusPlus
- http://www.hybridcars.com/blogs/power -- Power, Plugs and People
- http://www.EDriveSystems.com -- '04-06 Prius aftermarket conversions
- http://www.pluginpartners.com -- A market for PHEVs exists today!
- http://www.SetAmericaFree.org -- energy security via plug-in hybrids
- http://www.SecureEnergy.org -- Oil Crisis Simulations lead to PHEVs
- http://www.PlugInAustin.org -- local campaign soon to go national
- http://www.PlugInAmerica.com -- promoting all-electric and PHEVs
- March 2005 - Gas Optional Vehicles: Austin Energy Charges Ahead resolution [No. 050303-48]
- http://www.ccpd.com/205.html -- Port of Chelan County, Wa Advanced Vehicle Initiative.
- http://jumpstartford.com -- Today, Ford vehicles waste more gas than any others.
- http://www.nrel.gov/vehiclesandfuels/hev/plugins.html - National Renewable Energy Laboratory
- http://hybridconsortium.org/news/video/index.html - Will consumers plug in? Consumer Response.
- Interview with members of the new Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle Consortium.
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.
- Dr. Frank of UC Davis (google)
- Team Fate is the name of Dr. Andy Frank's vehicle design group derived from the 1960's feature film The Great Race, in which Professor Fate continuously strives to thwart his opposition, never giving up, never surrendering.
- Hope For the Future, Participate Now
- Nickel-Metal Hydride Batteries For ZEV-Range Hybrid Electric Vehicles - Professor Andrew Frank of U.C. Davis and his students built a Prius with 25 miles of EV Range and 110-220 Volt Grid Charging.
- Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles - PHEV Info
- http://www.wvc.edu/events/releases.asp?relID=79 Bring on the PHEVs!]
- January 13, 2006 - Detroit 2006: Is the Market Schizophrenic, or Changing?
- Dec 12, 2005 - Lithium Technology Supplies Li-Ion for Two Challenge X Vehicles, One a Plug-In Hybrid
- Aug 23rd, 2005 - 250 MPG
- Aug 15, 2005 - Plugged In Hybrids Get Remarkable Mileage
- June 13, 2005 - Guest Lecture by ZAP Officers Sparks Research at UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies
- March 02, 2003 - Interview with HEV Pioneer Dr. Andrew Frank (evworld) 
- June 29, 2001 - UC Davis Wins Futuretruck Contest
- Dec 2002 - Initial Toyota Fuel Cell Vehicles Come to ITS-Davis for Research
- Jun 09, 2003 - The MathWorks Hosts International Automotive Conference
- March 12, 2003 - CARB Global Climate Change Symposium
- Sep 11, 1998 - Electric Cars: Can They Go the Distance?
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.
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.
- Wayne Brown ( ev-button discovery, extra batteries, no plug-in )
- Much thanks to Wayne for discovering and then sharing his discovery of how to install the ev-button at Yahoo in Feb of 2004. He also shared with us some interesting technical info regarding the effects of the ev-mode, "136 Amps (136 Amps X 202 VDC = 27.4 KW = 36.7 Horsepower)" vs "45-50 Amps (10 kW or 13 Horsepower)" in stealth mode (non ev-button electric mode). Wayne was doing a lot of work with additional battery capacity tie-ins. He wrapps it up here, Button Part Number, 31% gain, re-enable confirmation, more details, BMS details, some speculation, 7.5ah aux battery.
Prof Jim Burns
- SDSU L3 Prof Jim Burns- Diesel Plugin Hybrid
This doesn't look like it pluggs in?
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.
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.
- http://pages.cthome.net/genesisone/MIMA.htm - Project home page
- http://www.insightcentral.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2471&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0 - Project discussion
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.