One concern for the conversion kits is their reliability and whether they would void a vehicle’s original factory warranty. In this regard, plug-in hybrids built by automakers are a safer bet than conversion kits
Hybrid Conversion Kits:
1. A123 systems has the Hymotion L5 Plug-in Conversion Modules (L5 PCMs) are expected to ship March, 2009 and cost $10,395 + Taxes. It would cost about $1 for the electricity to charge the unit. The Hymotion can convert a Prius into a plug-in Prius
The Hymotion L5 Plug-in Conversion Module is a rechargeable Nanophosphate™ lithium ion battery that uses regular 120V grid power to recharge, providing the user with ~5kWh of rechargeable energy storage at full capacity.
Through the increased use of electric drive, the Hymotion Plug-in Conversion Module enables the Prius to achieve in excess of up to 100 mpg for 30-40 miles* over a range of up to 40 miles, dependent upon driving conditions.
2. Poulsen Hybrid. Poulsen Hybrid is offering conversion kits that turn any conventional car into a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle by mounting small electric motors onto the rear wheels. The Poulsen system also uses a lithium-ion battery pack and will double a car’s gas mileage, says Poulsen, the system’s creator.
The projected price of the Poulsen Hybrid is: $3,500
Deep cycle lead acid batteries (not included): $400-450
72V 15 A charger for lead acid batteries. (optional): $300
4.3 KWh Lithium Ion battery pack with battery management system and dedicated 25A charger: approximately $4,500
So $8000 + $600 installation for lithium ion batteries and $4250 + $600 for the lead acid battery version.
3. VS Composites’ $4,000 Electrocharger, due in 2009, also works with any conventional car, including ones whose engines have a turbocharger or supercharger — good news for car enthusiasts, who seek out such engines for the added power and acceleration they bring.
4. A new kind of hybrid vehicle being developed at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich could save almost as much fuel as today’s gas-electric hybrids, but at a fraction of the cost.
The system will add only about 20 percent to the cost of a conventional engine, whereas the extra components required in hybrid electric vehicles can add 200 percent to the cost. Computer simulations suggest that the design should reduce fuel consumption by 32 percent, which is about 80 percent of the fuel-savings of gas-electric hybrids
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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