CalCars, the non-profit organization that dramatically increased awareness of the potential of plug-in hybrids (PHEV) simply by just doing it and converting a standard Prius to a plug-in Prius, is planning a commercial spin-off for plug-in conversions.
CalCars’ new company will partner with a major auto maker as a Qualified Vehicle Modifier (QVM) to define, to engineer and to produce PHEV versions of hybrid cars and SUVs.
CalCars anticipates a growing short-term market demand from public and private fleets and individuals for between 10,000-100,000 PHEVs.
CalCars earlier worked with EnergyCS, catalyzing the creation of E-Drive, which has developed and will soon market a plug-in conversion kit for the Prius. (Earlier post.)
As CalCars co-founder Felix Kramer notes in an interview with the San Jose Mercury News:
The problem is that E-Drive’s conversions will cost $10,000 and $15,000, which will leave most people out in the cold, Kramer said. “It’s for movie stars,” he said, predicting they’ll sell only 100 to 1,000 vehicles.
Kramer thinks he can sell 10,000 to 100,000 vehicles, and at $750 a car in possible carbon credits, he thinks there’s a promising market.
CalCars is not limiting itself to working with Toyota; the new venture may end up with an automaker such as Ford, for example—an outcome that would be a good move on Ford’s part.
CalCars Recruitment Flyer