Modifying a Prius to become a plugin

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by spidey, Sep 23, 2008.

  1. spidey

    spidey Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2008
    81
    0
    0
    Location:
    central north carolina
    Vehicle:
    2009 Prius
    I was reading an article about a company in NC that adds another battery and plug in to a current prius, claims they get 100MPG ( first 35 miles are driven on this other battery). Anyone heard of this and is it really worth trying a modification like this?
     
  2. boxer93

    boxer93 Psyched for PHEV

    Joined:
    May 9, 2008
    155
    22
    0
    Location:
    Southern NH
    Vehicle:
    2008 Prius
    Probably the place doing Hymotion installs. I have one. I like it, but it's pricey. Search for Hymotion and you will see many threads.
    Chris
     
  3. richard schumacher

    richard schumacher shortbus driver

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2004
    7,656
    1,014
    0
    Location:
    United States
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Depends on what you mean by "worth it". At $10,000 it would take at least 100,000 miles of driving to recover the cost in saved fuel, it can void the factory warranty, and there is at least one case of a battery mod directly causing a fire. OTOH it reduces the car's carbon footprint.
     
  4. alanh

    alanh Active Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2007
    1,174
    94
    0
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Also note that "100 mpg" is a little deceptive -- it doesn't mean your cost to go 100 miles is 1 gallon of gas, since you have to buy electricity too. This may be cheaper than the gasoline, but it's still a cost to consider.
     
  5. daniel

    daniel Cat Lovers Against the Bomb

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2004
    14,487
    1,512
    0
    Location:
    Spokane, WA
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    The modification has a lot to recommend it, but it will void your warranty. If you generally drive shorter distances, you will benefit more from the mod. If you generally drive greater distances, you will benefit less from it.

    Let's say it saves you half a gallon of gas each time you drive it. That assumes that you drive far enough to use all the energy the battery holds. If gas goes to $6/gal you'd save $3 each trip. If the mod costs $10,000 and you deplete the battery once a day, it would take you 3,333 days to break even. That's almost ten years.

    However, you'd be sending fewer dollars to the folks who financed 9/11. And you'd have a really cool modification.

    The question I'd ask first is what happens to the spare tire? I won't drive without one, and I'd prefer not to have it just sitting in the cargo area.
     
  6. NC_Prius

    NC_Prius Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    186
    5
    0
    Location:
    USA
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    Glad to see a neighbor on Prius Chat. Spidey I think that company is in Raleigh (read it on another thread). I personally wouldn't get the mod and void the warranty, but that's just my opinion. I would consider it if it produced a consistent 250 mpg ... Or course, if you're always driving shorter trips ...
     
  7. jwbraman

    jwbraman RaleighNC

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2008
    8
    2
    0
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Hey NC Prius... How are you?

    I live in Raleigh. I have been trying to find local people to "Chat" with so went to "Meet-up" but have found only 4 people "waiting" (for over 4 months now) for a group to form and no one has returned the first email. Anyway, wanted to say "Hi"

    Jim
     
  8. NC_Prius

    NC_Prius Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    186
    5
    0
    Location:
    USA
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A

    Hi Jim,

    Do you have a link for that meetup by any chance? I can't seem to find it for some reason.

    Maybe we could get a "group buy" discount on the plug-in upgrade there in Raleigh! (Yeah ... right!)


    Ryan
     
  9. Zythryn

    Zythryn Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    5,324
    3,381
    1
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Vehicle:
    Other Electric Vehicle
    Model:
    N/A
    Why do people keep saying it 'voids the warranty'. It doesn't.
    Even IF Toyota said something Hymotion did caused the damage, then Hymotion will pay for it.
    That aside, if you are looking to this solely for financial reasons it is not necessarily a good deal.
     
  10. richard schumacher

    richard schumacher shortbus driver

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2004
    7,656
    1,014
    0
    Location:
    United States
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    If fighting with Toyota is your idea of fun, by all means :_> And if the plug-in maker/installer goes out of business (as they may well after Toyota starts selling plug-ins) you're out of luck.
     
  11. jelloslug

    jelloslug It buffed right out!

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    813
    52
    0
    Location:
    Greenville, SC
    Vehicle:
    2008 Prius
    I don't think A123 systems is going anywhere.
     
  12. dwdean

    dwdean Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    377
    2
    0
    Location:
    South Florida
    Vehicle:
    2008 Prius
    Even in today's uncertain economy, I'd tend to agree. However, there appear to be other companies making plug-in conversion kits and I don't think that these should be lumped in with A123's Hymotion kit.

    I say this because recently I had the same reaction that someone early in this thread did: "it's a plug-in kit so it must be Hymotion." Well, long story short, it wasn't. This other kit wasn't even close. The warranty coverage that A123 provides is just one of the differences, but it is a fairly majore one, but there were others, pretty much across the board.
     
  13. PeakOilGarage

    PeakOilGarage Nothing less than 99.9

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    334
    12
    3
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest
    Vehicle:
    2009 Prius
    There used to be a handful of small outfits and individuas doing Prius Plug-In conversions. None of them really did more than a few dozen.

    Currently none of them can compete with what Hymotion/A123 is offering in terms of price, warranty and safety from proven crash testing.

    When I ordered mine in July, my reservation number was #959 or something like that. I suspect that by now they are over 1,500 to 2,000 in terms of backlog.

    My local installer in Seattle has done between 35 and 40 so far.
     
  14. miscrms

    miscrms Plug Envious Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    2,076
    520
    5
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    If your primary concern is saving money, its probably not cheap enough yet to make sense. If your primary concerns are environmental or energy independence, it can be worth it. If your driving habits are well matched to the electric or mixed mode range of the conversion it can have a huge impact on your fuel consumption. Overall efficiency probably doesn't change that much, but you have a lot more domestic and/or clean places to buy electricity compared to gasoline.

    There is one owner on here (theforce) who is still on his first tank of gas since converting a month and a half ago. So far he's been 1100 miles at around 180 mpg of gasoline. He should make it over 1600 miles before he has to fill up in another couple of weeks.

    http://priuschat.com/forums/prius-modifications/52157-review-hymotion-battery-plug-in-prius.html

    Rob
     
  15. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2005
    12,544
    2,117
    1
    Location:
    SF Bay Area, CA
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    On a side note, I'd seen a bunch of Priuses running around w/strange designs and rechargeit.org. So, I visited the site and found out it's Google's experiment.

    You can read about their driving experiment at RechargeIT.org and data from their fleet at Google.org.
     
Loading...