California Company Develops 40-Mile Plug-in Prius
PAPILLION, NE -- Plug-in Conversions Corporation of Poway, California has beat Toyota and General Motors to the bunch.
Using a 12.5kWh lithium battery pack produced by Hong Kong-based Gold Peak, the tiny start-up has developed a conversion kit for the 2010 model Prius that gives it the ability to drive at highway speeds for up to 40 miles as an electric car. With computer software developed by Andrew and Chris Ewert of Chicago, Illinois, the third generation Prius is the first of its kind to demonstrate electric car range comparable to the Chevrolet Volt, and well exceeding the 12-13 mile range of Toyota's own PHV Prius.
In a recent road rally outside of Madison, Wisconsin, the car delivered 245 mpg fuel efficiency over the 24 mile course that included interstate, county roads and city streets.
"If we'd had another day or two to finish testing the car, we could have driven the entire course in electric mode," Chris Ewert explained, adding that the couple of software cliches the brothers discovered have now been fixed.
Ewert pointed out that not only are the new lithium batteries twice as powerful the company's current NiMH packs, but they are lighter and take up less space. "They should also last longer and be able to be more deeply discharged than current nickel batteries," he added.
PICC-founder and president Kim Adelman was in Australia installing two company conversion kits when the car debuted at the Green Drive Expo. He noted that now that the Ewerts have completed the necessary software engineering for the Generation III model, his kits now can be adapted to include nearly the complete range of both Toyota and Lexus hybrid models. He anticipates offering consumers the kit in three-to-six month. Pricing has not yet been set.
Source: EV World
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