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Hymotion Unveils Plug-in Hybrid Kits for Toyota and Ford Hybrids

The PHEV Escape model

Hymotion, a Canadian company, introduced plug-in hybrid (PHEV) upgrade kits for the Toyota Prius and the Ford Escape and Mariner Hybrids at the Canadian International AutoShow this week. The Hymotion PHEV kits are based on a supplementary lithium-ion battery system that can be recharged by plugging it into a regular household electrical outlet.

Other systems are under development for the Lexus RX400h, Toyota Highlander Hybrid and Toyota Camry Hybrid, according to the company.

The Hymotion L5 PHEV kit in a Prius

Unlike the approach taken by EDrive with its plug-in Prius system (earlier post)—replacing the original OEM battery pack with an Li-ion pack—Hymotion is supplementing the original NiMH battery system with its own Li-ion system that serves as the plug-in energy store.

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.

The addition of the li-ion battery pack does not change the basic operating strategy of the vehicles—all electric-operation is still limited to low speeds (e.g., below 34 mph for the Prius).

Plugging in the Prius

Hymotion is initially offering the PHEV upgrade in two models: the 5kWh L5 for the Prius and the 12kWh L12 for the Ford hybrid SUVs. Hymotion is sourcing the Li-ion battery packs from an as-yet unnamed Asian manufacturer.

The company is targeting fleet buyers initially. In unit orders greater than 100, the L5 Prius kits will cost $9,500; orders of greater than 1,000 units would see the price drop to $6,500. Hymotion has not set pricing for the L12 for the Escape/Mariner, although the company notes that “since it’s 2.5 times the power of the Prius system, a very high price tag will be expected.

Both systems are now available for fleet owners only because we still need more durability test miles before releasing it to the consumers.

—Anthony Wei, Hymotion business development

Plug-in Hybrid Kits
SystemHymotion L5Hymotion L12EDrive
Vehicle Toyota Prius Ford Escape Hybrid
Mercury Mariner Hybrid
Toyota Prius
Battery type Lithium-ion Lithium-ion Lithium-ion
Energy 5 kWh 12 kWh 9 kWh
Charge time 5.5 hrs / 4.0 hrs 12 hrs /6 hrs 9 hrs
Weight 72.5 kg 147.5 kg 113.4 kg
Estimated battery range 50 km (31 miles) 80 km (50 miles) 56 km (35 miles)
Estimated fuel economy (comb.) 100 mpg 60 mpg 100–150 mpg
Price $9,500 for orders >100
$6,500 for order >1,000
n/a $10,000–$12,000

Hymotion had earlier partnered in the development of a hydrogen fuel-cell powered ice resurfacing machine (the eP-Ice Bear). Hymotion has its headquarters and research and development lab in Toronto, Canada. The company also has offices in Boston, USA, and five subcontractor facilities across North America.



I am in agreement with those who are willing to invest in future innovations such as this. Do I enjoy paying a premium for something that we all know or think major corporations should have jumped on years ago - of course not. But I won't let that stop me from supporting those innovators who are willing to invest in these new technologies. I too look forward to the day when PHEV's will be available and priced for the general consumer - but until then, we'll have to make do with whatever products we can, and hope that everyone else comes to their senses. Kudo's to Hymotion and Edrive for pioneering the efforts - now let's get these products to market!


So Hymotion can do $6,500 for 1000, $9,500 for 100 or more, and probably similar to the $10K-$12K of EDrive for an order of a single vehicle. They both go nearly the same distance at 31 vs 35miles, Hymotion is rated 5kWh and 40.9kg lighter than the EDrive at 9kWh, 1.8 times the energy at 1.56 times the weight.

While the battery type could make up the specific energy differance of 69Wh/kg versus 89Wh/kg the range discrepency is still odd. This could be due the SOC range used, though one would suspect that most of the capacity would be utilized as that's one of the things Lithium does well. Perhaps EDrive is being conservative on cycle depth, DOD, as I believe there is no stock battery to fall back on for HEV opperation in their case, while Hymotion could effectively discharge the additional Li pack till it fell off the end of it's abrupt discharge curve at 100% DOD, or 0% SOC.

Anyway, some Electric Conversion guys I know have mentioned that they think a simple "Hybrid battery", as it's known in the BEV world, type setup where a larger battery feeds the stock one would work, which Hymotion. seems to have confirmed. The PriusPlus or EDrive method still has the advantage of being able to replacing the stock NiMH battery with a far lighter Lithium flavored one!


Opps, forgot to mention, notice the trend towards the magical $500/kWh at 1000 units on the Hymotion battert packs, figure $1500 for the other hardware... This is about the cost of current mass production small form Li cells, who knows what happens to the cost once you ramp vehicle scale production into the millions? $250/kWh? $100/kWh? Keep in mind that something like the tzero with 6800 18650 cells is about 1000 laptops worth, so each PHEV might represent 200 laptops, 1000 cars = 200,000 laptops... Anyway, Carry on...

Lance Funston

I wonder if HyMotion would offer the lower price if someone could aggregate and guarantee 1000 orders from municipal fleets, individuals, and companies. That would be $6,500,000 (!) in orders.

The Tango folks figured out a deposit system to see where market demand is in order to reserve cars produced at various costs.

I what HyMotion is doing is very important, and as someone who has spent thousands on computers over the last 15 years that are now doorstops with less computing power than my flip-phone, I think $10,000 to convert your car into a near electric will be very attractive to some early adopters who want to take a stand and help jumpstart (so to speak) the market.

Think of it this way: an Acura TL (25mpg) with lots of nice features and middling mpg = $35,000. A loaded Prius (100mpg) with HyMotion would be about the same. Which one is faster? No contest. Which one is more comfortable and economical? You choose.


This is the longest post I have ever seen on GCC.
I like it.


Me too


IMHO it is prudent to be stingy with usage and generous with early adoption of promising revolutionary technology. HEV and soon PHEV are here to stay, thanks to those who bought it first. Sadly so is the HUMMER(B50? or E85 or Hybrid diesel)-no thanks Arnold! Expect a giant price drop in 2006 in Li batteries and plan accordingly. Early adoption is the only way to have a say on who will do what next. Those of who can should! Ride your bicycle, walk to the market, and pay the $$$ to be at the frontier of PHEV. This in no way contradicts the emergence of "disruptive technologies" hypothesis mentioned above. If anything it creates the roadmap to move the circus on!


Update on my former post. I contacted Hymotion to see what the outlook was for making this great new product available to the general public (all of us craving for such technology). Their Director of Business Development was kind enough to respond - and stated that they felt that this product "should" become available in the next year or two - at about $5,000 per install. The biggest hold-back seems to be durability testing that they want to do with fleet and government users initially.

Harvey D

Thank you KenR for the information. It seems that PHEVs may be the best short to mid-term solution to break our "fossil oil addiction' and reduce GHGs. A conversion price of $5,000 per unit would be very acceptable to many of us. Cost recovery will depend on the relative price of gas-diesel and ethanol-electricity. If we assume that the North American price for fossil fuels will be closer to the Euroean price and that electricity could remain close to current price, the conversion cost could be recovered in less than 5 years in most cases. With the price of batteries going down and performance going up we should not hesitate to support PHEVs because they seem to be the best solution for the next 10+ years.

wes arnott

how safe are the e-drive and hymotion systems in a collision?


I'm enjoying reading this thread, thanks.

A concern: While I agree that those that can, should be support EDrive and Hymotion I worry about their long term viability. The
decision by Toyota to offer PHEVs themselves seems pretty small realative to their gamble thus far. Overnight EDrive and Hymotion become redundant. Of course, this is *exactly* what is aiming at but it seems rough on the EDrive and Hymotion folks. And the rich irony is that more support for EDRive and Hymotion only hastens their doom (as does no support of course). Are there examples of goodwill from corporations like Toyota towards little companies that demonstate to them a market, to help them survive?

Finally, if pluggable cars in reverse can power houses, living off grid becomes easier and one of your disruptive consequences maybe flight from cities missing suburbs altogether and cutting towards wilderness, burning refined fossil fuels for electricity.

I pray solar tech cheapens towards mass consumption prices as fast or faster than PHEVS. Now that's eheaven.


They have already announted that they think they can get the cost to $5,000 in a year. What fleet owner in their right mind would buy them now?

I agree the dark shadow here is Toyota. As soon as it's clear they are coming into this market, these small guys are toast. Unless, Toyota will just do new cars, in which case maybe there's an upgrade market for awhile. But then, mass acceptance requires confidence, warranties, and companies that will be in the business for the long term future.

On the other hand, despite the Dell's of the world, there is still a bit of a small guy PC market out there. But cars may be different. And, I might add, dangerous.

Weird, that. My "sweet spot" was $5,000 and they say they may meet it.


Uumm...Duh? It's E85 not E80 E85!

Richard Meckstroth

There is something missing here. These are just batteries we are charging. With the correct, available AC to DC voltage converter, and maybe a voltage step device, anyone can charge any battery off of either 110 or 220 volts AC that we have in our houses.

I assume the Escape Hybrid battery pack ends up joining several batteries in series to operate at a higher than 220 volt DC level. It still can be done. We only need to know how the engine charges the same battery to figure out how to make a cheap battery charger.

The EDrive and Hymotion kits are fine, professional packages for fleet operators, but there has to be a huge aftermarket low budget option for current HEV owners.

Get back to me by email if you have any insights, suggestions, recommendations.


Oh, that's so cute. A business specifically designed to collect guilt money. What kind of sucker would fall for this? There's not a single listing on there of where the money goes. That's usually the first clue. You're buying Euro-style paper shuffling. That's it.

The thing that could do some serious good is the development of aftermarket hybridization/ flexfuelization/ PHEV kits for regular vehicles. You know, for those who can't shell out the premium for a new car. Also, boosting production so that those who want to, can buy a hybrid would be great too.


exposure and risk of hybrid electric

Everett Crsiar

Has anyone considered using a plug-in hybrid with the new flexible solar panels that could be installed on the automobile roof, hood, and/or trunk lid. For example, the Global Solar’s SUNLINQ with PowerFLEX technology ( is a flexible, fold-able and durable solar product that produces enough power to charge a lithium-ion battery system. Each 25 Watt panel is 25 X 41" and is only .03" thick. You should be able to get at least 4 panels installed on almost any automobile - producing at least 100 watts of charge. Cost would be around $1200 for 4 panels.


Inexpensive ($600/KW) safe Lithium-Ion batteries are available on ebay.


Just convert your car to a hho water hybrid. I have seen many hybrid kits across the web for about $500 bucks. It is a more efficient way to save money. I found some on

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