Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels unveiled the first of four converted plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) the city of Seattle will test over the next year. (Earlier post.)
|The first Seattle PHEV.|
Last October, the city of Seattle joined with the Port of Seattle, King County and the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency to test the performance of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) in an urban area. With funding from the Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory (INL) matched by the participants, 13 Priuses are being converted to plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. The total cost is $156,000.
The city of Seattle will operate four of the converted Priuses, King County will operate four, the Port of Seattle will have two and Puget Sound Clean Air Agency will have three. The plug-in conversion kits are provided by Hymotion packs from A123Systems.
Three of the four city of Seattle Priuses are used by City Light and the other is in the city’s general-use motor pool. With 330 Priuses in its fleet, Seattle has the largest fleet of Priuses in the state. In addition, the city fleet includes 47 smaller electric vehicles, including 22 scooters, two electric bikes, one neighborhood electric cart and 22 Segways.
The plug-in Prius conversions cost $12,000 per vehicle. The conversion includes the installation of equipment by Seattle company V2Green that will automatically collect on-road data from each vehicle. (Earlier post.) The data gathered will add to the INL’s growing database on PHEVs and support the federal government’s vehicle development projects. V2Green’s equipment will also allow Seattle City Light to remotely control vehicle charging.