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Plug In Prius team Hanssen and Seaberg
EDrive System principles, Greg Hansen (left) and Seth Seaberg (center) with CalCars.Org founder, Felix Kramer with second iteration of Energy CS's electric plug-in hybrid Toyota Prius. When equipped with Valence Saphion(tm) lithium ion batteries, along with some smart computer hardware and software modification, the 50 mpg gasoline-electric hybrid demonstrated 164 mpg in a test drive with EV World's publisher, Bill Moore on board.

EDrive Plans to Pioneer Electric Hybrids

Exclusive interview with the engineer/entrepreneurs behind the world's only 164 mpg Prius

By EV World

Officially, they weren't really part of the 11th National Clean Cities Conference last week in Palm Springs. Unofficially, they were the stars of the show. After all, how often do you get to ride in a five-passenger car that is capable of doing 164 mpg?

The engineer/entrepreneurs at Energy CS in Monrovia, California were given the opportunity to modify a second Toyota Prius so that it too could run longer in electric-only mode. They converted their first Prius earlier this year, proving that it is possible to improve upon what is already a remarkably efficient machine. That car had its debut at the 21st Electric Vehicle Symposium in Monaco last month. The first Toyota Prius made a similar bow at EVS 14 back in 1997; and when it did, automotive history changed forever.

Naturally, Peter Nortman and Greg Hanssen were eager to demonstrate their modifications at the Clean Cities Conference, especially since their first car was still on a boat returning from Europe. EV World's publisher was invited to ride along for a short spin around Palm Springs, site of the conference. During the demonstration, he conducted an impromptu interview with Nortman, who was driving the car and Hanssen who sat in the back seat. As will be obvious, Nortman was clearly much more focused on driving than on answering distracting questions. (Photo: Peter Nortman - left - with his father, Richard).

Hanssen, on the other hand, was more than willing to talk about the project and the recently announced creation of EDrive Systems, which plans to build and market a conversion kit that will enable 2004 and newer Toyota Priuses to be upgraded to plug-in capability. EDrive Systems is a collaboration of Energy CS and Clean Tech, an LA-based firm that converts vehicles to run on compressed natural gas. The company hopes to begin offering modification kits later this year.

To listen to the 10-minute interview, use the Flash-based MP3 player below the photo in the right-hand column or use the download link to replay it on your favorite MP3 device. Click here to learn more about electric hybrids.

EVWORLD Future In Motion Podcast

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Times Article Viewed: 10912
Published: 10-May-2005

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