EnergyCS has delivered the first Toyota Prius sedan retrofitted with plug-in hybrid technology to California’s South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) for testing and evaluation. EnergyCS and Clean-Tech formed a joint venture—EDrive—in 2005 to manufacture and market the retrofit, which will initially be installed and serviced by Clean-Tech.
This vehicle is the first of eight demonstration vehicles ordered as part of contracts between EnergyCS and the South Coast AQMD as well as other electric utility partners. In early testing, the vehicles have averaged over 100 MPG by combining grid electricity with the existing hybrid technology.
Using a normal house outlet, a nightly re-charge of about $1 worth of electricity cuts the Toyota Prius gasoline consumption in half for over 50 miles the following day.
After the additional electricity has been spent, the vehicles perform like a standard Prius until plugged in again. The South Coast AQMD issued a contract for up to six of the demonstration vehicles in September.
The PHEV systems, which will be commercialized under the EDrive brand name, have been in open development since April of 2005. (Earlier post.)
EnergyCS is proud to be leading this program with AQMD and our other project partners. Our demonstration prototypes for this program and our other early adopters will provide valuable data for plug-in hybrid passenger vehicles in real world driving conditions. This is an exciting project and we’ve come a long way since last year!—Pete Nortman, president of EnergyCS
The EnergyCS plug-in Prius uses Valence Lithium-ion batteries to provide approximately 9kWh of storage and thus the extended all-electric driving range. EDrive hopes to begin taking orders from consumers for the systems soon.
The delivery of the demonstration vehicles is a significant step towards a commercial version of the system. Before a PHEV retrofit can be marketed to the public, it’s roadworthiness and durability has to be proven. It’s not just about throwing a few extra batteries into the back of a Prius.—Greg Hanssen, President of EDrive
The system, which works with the second-generation Prius, is expected to retail for under $12,000 when full production is reached. (That is in addition to the cost of the Prius.) Once the Toyota Prius systems begin commercial delivery, EnergyCS plans to develop additional plug in platforms and work with project partners to develop new technologies revolving around its core competencies in batteries, electronics, vehicle and HVDC power system integration.
EnergyCS is also partnering with Amberjac in the UK to launch the PHEV retrofit kits. (Earlier post.) Amberjac is also delivering a commercial release of its retrofitted plug-in Prius models this year. Amberjac is working with UK-based GoinGreen, a retailer of electric cars, which has announced availability of the retrofitted plug-in starting this month.