Backyard Plug-In Hybrid Conversion Kits Coming

CalCar's step-by-step instructions are continually being improved, part of the beauty of open-source material.

Published: 12-Oct-2007

GREEN CITY Hybrid cars — those that run on a combination of gasoline and electricity — are all the rage among drivers looking to go green. But imagine a car that could drive 100 miles on one gallon of gas. That's what a hybrid could get if converted into a plug-in version, something Bay Area residents are starting to do themselves, filling a void left by the auto industry.

The California Car Initiative (a.k.a. CalCars) is on a mission to make plug-in hybrid electric vehicles widely available. In collaboration with organizations like Plug-In Partners and Plug-In Bay Area, CalCars is on a mission to persuade carmakers to mass-produce plug-in hybrid vehicles. The technology already exists, allowing our cars to be much more fuel efficient.

The first prototype PHEV was created by CalCars in 2004. This Palo Alto nonprofit converted a Toyota Prius into a Prius+, a plug-in hybrid able to travel more than 100 miles using only one gallon of fuel.

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