Boulder Hybrid Conversions 10 kWh PHEV System

Discussion in 'Prius PHEV Plug-In Modifications' started by ericbecky, Oct 26, 2012.

  1. ericbecky

    ericbecky Hybrid Battery Hero

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    Man, I wish I lived in Colorado.

    I've been waiting to hear more about Boulder Hybrid Conversions 10 kwh PHEV system.
    At first blush seems pricey (~$12,000 - $13,000 installed. ), but I hear the components are up to the task and not prone to failures. As an installer I think it will be worth it for customers to have a stable system. If you live in Colorado it definitely worth it (under $5,500 after rebates!).

    From the Boulder Hybrid Conversions site:

    10 kwh Plug in upgrade for 2004 - 2009 Prius
    Performance: Vehicle can be driven in forced EV mode "around town" up to 52 mph. This means that only the electric motor can be used for trips up to 30 miles. For drives where highway or hilly driving is anticipated, driving in blended mode allows our battery to assist the gas engine, resulting in much improved fuel economy. For Prius owners who drive around 80 miles per day or less, you'll almost always average 80-100MPG. Some of our customers even average over 100MPG!​

    Features: Professional installation, 8kWh lithium battery pack with 2kWh upgrade (total 10kWh), 120V charger (with plug on bumper), battery management system, Aluminum battery box that fits below trunk deck, PHV switch (installed on dash), forced EV button, ScanGauge car computer, Killawatt Meter, 2-year parts and labor warranty on everything except cells (1 year on cells).​

    I hope that some installed customers come on here and share some feedback.
     
  2. usnavystgc

    usnavystgc Die Hard DIYer and Ebike enthusiast.

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    My questions are:
    Do you have to cycle the ignition to come out of "forced EV"? 52mph equals OOG mode. How are they forcing that? I assume that means cutting pwr to the fuel pump then clearing the errors/warning lights. This would require a cycle of the ignition system to allow the car to run in regular hybrid mode.

    EV only on a Gen II ='s anemic performance and I would argue is dangerous in moderate to heavy traffic conditions (acceleration gets you out of as many accidents as braking).

    In blended mode, is there any mod for the ECT? If not, short trips in blended mode will be no better and possibly worse than a regular Prius (due to the added weight of the pack).

    I really don't see how these obstacles can be overcome on the Gen II. The car is designed as a gasoline (primary), electric assist vehicle. Electric only operation is severely underpowered for safe operation. The only real way to overcome this is to replace MG2 w/ a bigger motor. Even if you do replace MG2, you still have the problem of having to cycle the ignition to return to normal hybrid operation once the pack is depleted. While I'm certain someone can overcome this, so far, no one has (to my knowledge anyway) and... any solution will likely result in even more cost.

    The other obstacle is (and always will be) the ECT/cat converter warm up issue. Since the Prius is designed for emissions first and efficiency second, short trips in blended mode will always result in poor efficiency for the first 5 min of operation (and worse than a normal Prius due to the added weight of a 10kw battery pack). This is easily solved with ECT spoofing but, ECT spoofing is not legal for onroad use (because it messes with emissions).

    The bottom line (for me anyway) is that the Gen II is not a good candidate for PHEV modification. You just end up with an underpowered EV mode that requires constant attention of the operator to 1) avoid accidents and 2) monitor pack voltage so you can pull over, cycle the ignition b4 the pack runs dead. And... short trips in blended mode result in disappointing fuel economy. Some will say "then use EV only mode for short trips". While this is a good thought, short trips is where you're likely to need acceleration to avoid an accident.

    It is my humble opinion that the 4kw Enginer PHEV mod is the most practical solution because it only uses blended mode, modifies very little, is reasonably priced and doesn't add much weight to the car. I see this as most beneficial to drivers whose commute is mostly city and over 15 minutes.

    Rebuttals welcome :)
     
  3. ericbecky

    ericbecky Hybrid Battery Hero

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    I think there is a place in the market for this kind of system. There are people who have the right kind of drives for this to be applicable performance-wise.

    I'm sure they'll chime in on the other technical aspects (ECT, etc), but you are right, just because you can go 65 in all-electric, doesn't mean all driving conditions are right for that. And in fact, I would imagine, most customers would not do that. Maybe 45 mph or so would be acceptable.

    While Enginer system may be a good idea, with Enginer being out of business, it is currently off the table for most people unless they are able to obtain parts and gather all the components for a system.

    Some more info about the system from over on the 3ProngPower site
    Boulder Hybrid Conversions 10kWh
    Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery & Plug-In Kit​

    3Prong Power is pleased to offer the most powerful Plug-In Hybrid battery on the market.The premium 10kWh system comes with true electric vehicle mode for pure electric driving even at highway speeds. Price includes a rear suspension upgrade. The 10kWh systems gives you 30 to 40 miles of all electric driving.​

    The PHEV conversion allows for four modes of operation:

    1. Electric Vehicle Mode: The car uses 100% battery power at speeds up to 65 mph or more depending on driving conditions.​
    2. Charge Deplete mode: The car uses a mixture of battery pack power and the Prius engine depending on driving conditions for enhanced mileage. Our controller will automatically try to maximize electric energy usage over gasoline usage. Over 100 mpg is achievable in this mode.​
    3. Charge Sustain mode: The car operates like a normal Prius, using the battery to help accelerate and capturing energy from the brakes, but trying to keep the overall battery state of charge constant.​
    4. Battery Charge Mode: The extra battery pack is charged slowly while you drive from the gasoline engine. This mode is mostly used to arrive with a full battery to show off to your friends.​

    Boulder Hybrid Conversions 10KWH

    Maximum EV Range 30 to 40 miles
    Mixed Mode Range* up to 100 miles
    Price Including Installation $12,699.00
    Maximum EV Speed 65mph or more depending
    on driving conditions
    Expected battery life 5 years
    Charge Time @110V 10 hours
    Added Weight 330 lbs
    Suspension Upgrade YES
    Warranty** 2 year


    * A PHEV in mixed mode will use a mix of some gasoline and some battery power to deliver signifcantly higher miles per gallon until the battery is depleted. From that point on, the vehicle will revert to the same miles per gallon as a standard hybrid.​

    ** The following limited installation warranty applies: if a defect occurs under normal use conditions due to improper installation, 3Prong Power will repair the defect. A separate limited parts warranty is provided by the manufacturer: if a part becomes defective under normal use conditions, the manufacturer will send a replacement part under warranty. 3Prong Power does not provide warranty coverage for defective parts from the manufacturer.​


    I'm sure the prices are dependent on current market prices for components so they'll be subject to change over time. Also depending on labor costs, different shops may charge a different amount for the conversion. It'd be a 2-3 day installation to make sure there is time for some road testing.


    Off topic:
    I'm sure that the Gen II Prius will continue to be converted into a PHEV. Cal Cars showed it was possible years ago and the Gen II Prius has received the most attention from aftermarket conversion companies. We can debate that fact on another thread, but I don't want to clutter this thread with that discussion.​

    Also, I'm always open to alternative vehicles to convert if you have an idea. Since it'd be off topic of this thread, we can start a new thread somewhere, too, or maybe there is one already?​
     
  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    there is a guy here who put a 4kw in his pip and loves it. claims a total of 27-28 miles ev and was totally turnkey with zero issues.. and a nother guy in C forum putting a 3kw in his C.
     
  5. usnavystgc

    usnavystgc Die Hard DIYer and Ebike enthusiast.

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    The PiP is a totally different comparison and it is well suited for a battery pack upgrade. This is due to how it was engineered. The PiP is engineered to operate in EV mode without compromise.

    The "C" will have the same issues as the Gen II that I outlined above.
     
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  6. usnavystgc

    usnavystgc Die Hard DIYer and Ebike enthusiast.

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    Eric,
    What is 3prong doing different than Boulder that allows for 65mph all EV mode? Are they using OOG mode? Do you still have to cycle the ignition to return to normal hybrid mode? Or... are they using the mod that PIS supposedly has (that I've never seen or heard of anyone receiving)? Or.... do they have their own mod?

    I agree there are those that can possibly live with the anemic acceleration delivered by the Gen II in EV only mode but no matter the traffic conditions, the possibility of needing acceptable acceleration to avoid an accident remains.

    I'd be really interested in the mpg figures for "Charge depletion mode" for trips less than 7 minutes and no ECT spoofing. I'd be willing to bet they are less than a standard Gen II Prius with no mods (this would be worse in winter). To achieve over 100 mpg's in this mode, you'd have to do mostly city driving with a trip length of 20 minutes or better. I believe it is achievable but only in the rarest of circumstances. I'm betting most city commuters, with an average trip length of >15minutes, would average 70-85 mpgs in this mode (and those with shorter trips less than that).

    Like you, I'm also certain that the Gen II will continue to be converted. Just like people will still buid a 72 Nova with a 527 engine. My biggest concern about this conversion is someone driving in EV mode gets into an accident and gets hurt trying to save gas. It is also prudent to alert people to the potential drawbacks and dangers of conversion. I have the utmost respect for you, 3prong and Boulder and I appreciate what you/they're doing but, they are in business to make money. Their going to tout the positives and downplay the negatives (just like I would). I would hate to see them lose everything in this highly litiguous (I think that's how you spell it but, I am from KY and we're not known for our vocabulary (lol)) environment we live in.

    It is not my intention to discourage anyone from converting but only to inform about the possible pitfalls of conversion.

    That's too bad to hear about Enginer. This is the first I heard of them going out of business. Their website is still up.
     
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