Three-Prong Power Joins Ranks of Plug-in Prius Converters

While Toyota promises to deliver a factory-built, plug-in electric car by late 2009, and General Motors Corp. says it will bring its Chevy Volt plug-in car to market in 2010, impatient mechanics already are making them with off-the-shelf parts.

Published: 30-Dec-2008

At the Detroit auto show next month, one of the most highly anticipated new vehicles will be Toyota Motor Corp.'s third-generation Prius hybrid. It features a roomier interior and better gas mileage than the current model, the best-selling hybrid in the world.

But even these advancements aren't good enough for Daniel Sherwood and Paul Guzyk. The two green-minded mechanics have been modifying Toyota's Prius hybrids, which get an impressive 50 miles per gallon, and converting them into plug-in electric vehicles, doubling the fuel efficiency of a car that many people already see as the be-all of fuel economy. They can't wait to do the same to Toyota's newest Prius model.

Messrs. Sherwood and Guzyk are at the forefront of a small but growing automotive insurgency. While Toyota promises to deliver a factory-built, plug-in electric car by late 2009, and General Motors Corp. says it will bring its Chevy Volt plug-in car to market in 2010, impatient mechanics already are making them with off-the-shelf parts.

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