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ZAP Begins Selling PHEV Conversion Systems

ZAP is offering plug-in hybrid conversion systems for the Toyota Prius and Ford Escape Hybrid through a collaboration agreement with Hybrids Plus (earlier post).

Hybrids Plus’ approach to conversion is to replace the OEM NiMH pack with its Li-ion PHEV pack, which it builds itself using 26650 cells from A123Systems. The company currently offers the following:

Hybrids Plus Conversion Packs
Pack Vehicle All Electric RangeCapacity Charge time
100-125 Vac
PHEV-15 Prius 2004-2008 15 miles 4.5 kWh ~6 hours $24,000
PHEV-30 Prius 2004-2008 30 miles 9.0 kWh ~8 hours $32,000
PHEV-25 Escape/Mariner 2006-2007; 2008 25 miles 12.0 kWh ~12 hours $36,000

Deliveries can be provided in approximately four weeks from the initial order.

This collaboration allows more hybrid owners to have the most efficient vehicles on the road today. ZAP dealers are preparing to offer a new level of service in the coming years involving mass-market hybrid and electric cars from Detroit Electric, so experience with plug-in hybrids can accelerate this process.

—ZAP CEO Steve Schneider



pricy!, 4.5kwh worth of A123 cells from ebay is about $6500, about $2250 if you could buy wholesale in large quantities from A123 themselves.


I assume, the price is based on the expectation of only relatively limited number of conversations taking place - mostly for corporate users which can put that cost in their marketing budgets.

Remeber, since all the original Bat ECU had to be reverse engineered, and a lot of IP going into packaging & integration, the price might be justified when they need to cover that with only a few (~100?) conversions...

Of course, once they break even with their R&D cost, they should reduce the price of the conversation kit to only slightly more than the marginal costs of the kit. If, as you say, the small scale cost of the cells is around 6500 USD, the kit's marginal cost should be around 8000 USD ultimately; if the conversations really take off (economics of scale), it might get as low as 3000 USD - but I think we'll see production PHVs / PHEVs from large manufacturers by then.


does the price include the car?


ridiculous price.
12,500 for an OEMtek conversion that gets you a lot better range and a 9KW lithium phosphate battery.
I will surprised if they sell any at this price.


Let me get this straight. Two years before the Volt is released, ZAP actually thinks someone will pay more than what their hybrid costs brand new to make it a phev with a 30 stinkin', low speed, mile range. Wow.

Where's my Obvio, dude?

Charles S

I think it's too early to count on Volt becoming reality. In fact, I think it's too optimistic to assume ANY of the major manufacturers can actually (or willingly) deliver a production EV/PHEV by 2010. Hybrids will likely be the only option we get from the auto-makers.

For now, conversions and small start-ups are probably the main options for those who can afford it. There isn't a real infrastructure, the market, or the resources to support mass production of EV/PHEV, thus all early-adopters will have the pay a premium.


Since BYD makes batteries, they might have a shot at selling their cars at a lower price.


They will never sell anything at these prices. All of the other conversion kits I have heard about are much cheaper.


Our conversations with several Lithium battery providers almost a year ago suggested their prices were below $1000/kWh. All ZAP needs to do is to cut their price in half.

J Chen

A complete affordable LiFePO4 PHEV conversion kit is now available from Egniner under $2000.

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