|The WPPI PHEV Prius.|
Wisconsin Public Power Inc., a regional power company serving 48 customer-owned electric utilities in Wisconsin, Upper Michigan and Iowa, has introduced a converted plug-in hybrid Prius to its fleet—the first plug-in hybrid car to be added to a utility fleet in the Midwest. WPPI will add a second PHEV next month.
The WPPI PHEV uses a Hymotion L5 conversion pack—a 5 kWh battery pack with lithium-ion cells from A123Systems—which offers around 30 miles of electric range before utilizing the standard Prius system.
|The Hymotion pack in place. Click to enlarge.|
A123Systems recently acquired Hymotion, and is planning a commercial roll-out of the conversion packs in 2008. (Earlier post.)
WPPI and 38 of its member utilities have joined the national Plug-in Partners campaign to convince automakers that a market for plug-in hybrids exists.
In almost every conceivable power generation mix, PHEVs reduce greenhouse gases and other pollutants. It is much less difficult to control emissions from a relatively few number of power plants rather than millions of vehicle tail pipes.—Tom Paque, WPPI Vice President of Marketing
WPPI’s headquarters is powered 100% by renewable energy, and thus the plug-in vehicle will be powered entirely by renewable energy when it runs in all-electric mode.