|The Hymotion L5 PHEV kit in a Prius|
Hymotion has delivered one of its L5 Prius Plug-in Hybrid systems to HOURCAR, a car-sharing program that serves Minnesota’s Twin Cities.
The Hymotion L5 plug-in system (earlier post) serves to more than double the fuel efficiency of Toyota’s Prius hybrid, delivering 100+ mpg depending upon speed and range.
The Hymotion kit is based on a 5 kWh lithium-ion battery pack that supplements, rather than replaces, the original equipment NiMH pack in the Prius. The PHEV system recharges from the engine and regenerative braking during operation and from the power grid when the vehicle is parked and plugged in. Once the PHEV battery is depleted, the vehicle resumes normal operation using the factory battery. While the PHEV battery is in use, the OEM battery fuel gage indicates its status.
Hymotion also has a 12 kWh kit for the Ford Escape / Mercury Mariner hybrids. The company is developing other systems for the Lexus RX400h, Toyota Highlander Hybrid and Toyota Camry Hybrid.
HOURCAR runs a 13-vehicle fleet of Priuses in the Twin Cities area. HOURCAR members make self-service reservations online or by phone, pick up an HOURCAR at a nearby hub, run errands, return the car to its reserved parking space, lock it up, and walk away. Cars have on-board computers to record trip information and members are billed monthly.