Plug-In Hybrid Info
What is a Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV for short)?
Plug-in hybrids are gaining in popularity, particularly among the wealthy who are more concerned about reducing their carbon footprint than they are about saving money. By definition, a plug-in hybrid is a hybrid vehicle that has been reconfigured to carry a larger battery pack than what it came with from the factory. Plug-in hybrids can be recharged with household electricity and using that charge, can operate somewhere between twelve and twenty five miles solely on electrical power supplied by the battery pack.
Should I convert my hybrid to a Plug-in?
If your first concern is saving money, with fuel prices below six dollars a gallon, the answer is a definite “NO.” However, if your concern is to reduce the amount of fossil fuel you consume for some other reason, the answer may be “Yes.”
Can I convert my Honda Hybrid to a Plug-in?
No, not now and probably never. The Honda IMA, while a fine and reliable system, does not allow for electric-only operation. At present plug-in hybrid conversions are being performed primarily on 2004-2009 Toyota Prius vehicles.
How much does a Plug-in hybrid conversion cost?
Prices vary based on the system, but the least expensive system that uses standard lead-acid batteries costs over $5,000 www.junglemotors.com. The best-selling Lithium Ion battery pack conversion, sold by Hymotionwww.a123systems.com/hymotion , runs around $10,500 installed. The unit that holds the most interest for me is even more expensive at $12,500. It is a Nickel Metal Hydride battery pack that integrates well with the Toyota factory system www.pluginconversions.com
Does Phil’s Auto Clinic do plug-in conversions?
Not yet, but we hope to soon. We have contacted Plug-In Conversions and are in conversation at present about becoming an authorized installer of plug-in hybrid conversions.
What is the difference between the lead-acid battery conversion and the others?
Lead-acid batteries are very common and are the type that is used in most automobiles. Lead-acid batteries are limited to about 800 charge and discharge cycles, whereas Nickel Metal Hydride batteries and Li-ion batteries are good for around 4000 charge and discharge cycles. Therefore, if you were to choose to convert your vehicle to a plug-in hybrid using lead-acid batteries, you can figure on having to replace that battery pack in less than three years. It is easy to see why there is such a difference in the cost of various conversions.