Many people who own a hybrid car like a Toyota Prius will be happy to hear that they have the option of making their car a hybrid plug in. Why convert a hybrid to a plug-in? It can perform strictly as an electric car running on charged batteries for a range of up to 60 miles. Then when the batteries are depleted, it runs like a regular hybrid—electric up to a certain speed then gasoline powered beyond that speed. This can make the car dramatically fuel efficient. You could potentially go for a whole month or longer without stopping at a gas station as long as you keep the car plugged into an electrical outlet overnight. The car can also lower carbon dioxide emissions by about one half.
There are a number of aftermarket companies that manufacture hybrid-plug-in conversion kits. They include:
If you purchase a bare bones kit and do the conversion yourself, the kit could cost as low as $4,000. However, if you don’t have any do-it-yourself skills, and you want to be certain that the best components are involved; it could cost as much as $35,000 for a kit and installation.
The basic installation of the A123 System Conversion Kit is described at the Hymotion website. It is a four step process:
Most kits use lithium ion batteries. But there are some that use nickel metal hydride or lead acid batteries.
Commonly, the kits feature 3 modes of operation:
Most kits are designed to convert the Toyota Prius because of its popularity and because the design of the car mates well with a plug in conversion kit.