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Saturday, August 8, 2009

Australian company launches Prius PHEV kit for $995

An Australian engineering firm called Enginer has launched a Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) kit to suit Toyota Prius at the Hybridfest Green Drive Expo held in Madison Wisconsin. The battery conversion kit from Enginer comes in three versions, a 2 kWh version which costs $1,995 and a 4 kWh version which sells for $2,995 and a DIY kit without batteries for $995.

As a benchmark comparison the Hymotion PHEV kit from A123 systems consists of a 5 kWh (3.6 kWh usable) battery pack and costs between $9,995 - $14,500.

The 2 kWh pack will give an EV only range of 10 mile to your Prius while the 4 kWh pack give 20 miles EV mode range. The kits use Lithium Phosphate batteries similar to those sold by Thundersky and BYD with all parts sourced in China.

The Enginer kit is sold in the US by Detroit based Automation Tech Inc. and the first PHEV Conversion Kit suit both Gen 1 & Gen 2 Prius. The proprietary technology is designed for simplicity, no hacking into the computer and force the battery into electric mode is required. Instead they focus on supplementing and charging the standard NiMH battery stack, resulting in only 5 wires integrated into the car and an installation time of 2-3 hours. Because this is a supplemental battery pack it can also be installed in most other Hybrids.

We have seen some Prius drivers with the Hymotion Plug-In conversion achieve up 300 MPG so depending on driving patterns these PHEV kits can pay for themselves in a short time.

More Specs.

* Sixteen 3.2V Cells in Series (48V Nominal)
* Capacity: 2KWH
* Weight: 75 lbs
* Dimension: 22 in x 34 in x 8 in
* Warranty: 2 Years
* Battery Life Cycle: >2000 Times (80DOD%) > 3000 Times(70DOD%)
* Low Battery Protection
* Automatic Cell Balancing
* Fit in compartment between spare tire and trunk floor. Preserve trunk space.
* Charge Time: 3 Hours
* Range: 10 Miles (Low Speed EV Mode), 20 Miles (Plugin Hybrid Mode) per charge. Switch back to normal mode after.

This Conversion Kit Includes

* Sixteen 40AH LiFePO4 Battery Cells
* 48V 15A charger
* Two 8-cell Battery Balancers / Monitors
* 100A Circuit Breaker
* On/Off Switch with Power and Battery Low Indicators
* 120VAC Bumper Plug
* Battery Enclosure
* Smart DC/DC Converter and Controller
* 4KWH (32 Cells) option is available with additional $999

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We know from personal computers and cell phones that all batteries are not created equal -- even with the same spec. We will need a lot more real-world test results before calling this a breakthrough.

However, it is encouraging to see that when there's a demand, enterprising minds around the globe can get to work and provide a solution.

The China-->Australia-->USA path has been quite successful for high-end musical instruments and recording gear. Today, they favorably compete with German, British and American products for a fraction of the price. Hopefully, the same thing can happen for car batteries.

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