Plug-In Supply, Inc unveiled its PbA10 Conversion System last week at the Plug-in 2008 conference in San Jose. The PbA10 Conversion System, based on the CalCars Open Source design, turns a standard 2004-2008 model year Prius into a Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) with an all-electric range of 10-15 miles and improved average mileage of up to 100 miles per gallon (plus 1 cent/mile of electricity).
The conversion system uses a 5 kWh pack comprising new extended life lead-acid batteries (more than 800 cycles) for better battery longevity than was previously available. The system is designed to permit an upgrade to lithium iron phosphate batteries with an all electric range of 15-20 miles as costs for these longer range batteries decline.
The PbA PHEV Assembly is a complete, tested, and ready to install pack. It provides access to the spare tire and contains 20 PbA20-12 lead-acid batteries, plus all high voltage components and control electronics in a strong welded steel enclosure. Expected battery life for the PbA system is about 2 years. The weight of the PbA system is 360 lb (163 kg), compared to 150 lb (68 kg) for the lithium-ion system.
Maximum speed in all-electric mode is 52 mph.
Plug-in Supply is currently working on a PSI Lithium Ion Phosphate Prius+ conversion, featuring the latest batteries from Phoenix Silicon International (PSI). The chassis will provide access to the spare tire and is expected to provide 16 miles of EV mode operation and last the life of the car.
Converting the Prius to a plug-in has been a popular topic since Ron Gremban, CalCars Technical Lead, was the first to convert his Prius in 2004. Since then, about two hundred cars have been converted in what was formerly a slow and complicated process.
By refining the design for manufacturing, Plug-In Supply’s Conversion System reduced the conversion time from several weeks to just one day in 2007. Further improvements in design have reduced the cost and complexity while improving reliability and battery longevity.
Plug-In Supply Inc. is a Petaluma, California-based supplier of Conversion Systems and components serving the Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) aftermarket. Plug-In Supply Inc. is operated by Robb Protheroe, an engineer and long time proponent of electrically powered vehicles.