Jackson EMC Converts Prius to Plug-In Hybrid
Jackson Electric Membership Cooperative has converted a Toyota Prius hybrid car into a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, which uses electricity and gasoline to get more than 100 miles a gallon around town. The conversion is part of a two-year research project sponsored by the National Rural Cooperative's Research Association's Cooperative Research Network.
Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles use a larger battery system than normal hybrids, but the car works like a normal hybrid on long trips, said Alan Shedd, engineer with Jackson EMC's commercial/industrial marketing program. It costs less than 50 cents a day to charge the car, Shedd said.
CRN's two-year study will provide data on how plug-in hybrids perform. Through the research project, the larger battery pack installed in Jackson EMC's Prius was hand-built and allows longer drive times from the electric charge without relying on the gasoline engine. Shedd drove the Prius 2,750 miles from Atlanta to Monrovia, Calif., where the weeklong rebuilding process began. Besides adding the larger battery pack, a plug-in charging system and data collection software also were installed.
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