|The traction battery pack for a Hybrids-Plus PHEV15 in place.
The Colorado Governor’s Office of Energy Management and Conservation (OEMC) is working with several partners on a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) demonstration project. The PHEV is appearing at a Clean Energy Partnerships event in Fort Collins, Colorado today as part of Colorado Tech Week.
Boulder, Colorado-based Hybrids-Plus, Inc. has converted a 2006 Toyota Prius into a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) with a 9 kWh lithium-ion battery pack built with A123Systems cells. The US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Xcel Energy will perform a benefit analysis of the project.
A123Systems’ improvements in lithium-ion battery technology will enable much greater yields in conventional transportation for vehicle mileage in a safe and reliable manner. A123Systems is involved in this PHEV demonstration in order to demonstrate the advantages of this technology and make it available on a wider scale to the public.—Roger Lin, A123Systems
|Hybrids-Plus assembled its battery pack from A123Systems cells. This is a shot of the welder.
The OEMC plug-in is a PHEV30—it offers about 30 miles of all-electric range at speeds lower than 34 mph from the traction battery pack, which is built with A123Systems’s 26650 cells (the same cells as in the DeWalt 36V battery packs for power tools).
Hybrids-Plus replaces the OEM NiMH battery pack with the plug-in pack (which adds 81 kg to the car’s weight.) In addition to the estimated 30 miles AER, Hybrids-Plus estimates that the PHEV30 model will deliver 50 miles of blended driving on a full charge, for a total fuel economy of about 125 mpg.
|Block diagrams of original Prius battery (left) and of converted system (right). Click to enlarge.
Time for a full charge on the battery is about 9 hours.
List price for the PHEV30 conversion from Hybrids-Plus is $32,500. A PHEV15 conversion using a 4.5 kWh A123Systems battery pack costs $24,000. Hybrids-Plus will also supply just the kit, with the PHEV30 gear priced at $19,200, and the PHEV15 kit priced at $12,800.
This OEMC PHEV Prius will also soon have Vehicle to Grid (V2G) capability. Xcel Energy and NREL will assess the collective effects of thousands of PHEVs providing power back to the grid in such a manner. Further, the study will determine the emissions profile of the car, as well as those from the greater simulated number, to make recommendations how best to incorporate these new-generation vehicles into the electrical grid.
Xcel Energy is committed to supporting the widespread deployment of plug-in hybrid vehicle technologies and preparing to meet future customer needs related to alternative fuel transportation. We expect our joint study with NREL will uncover the potential for PHEVs to ultimately increase the overall reliability and sustainability of our existing electricity grid infrastructure.—Michael Lamb, executive director of Utility Innovations at Xcel Energy