Initial testing of Toyota’s plug-in hybrid system installed in the second-gen Prius has returned fuel-economy figures of 65mpgEnlarge Photo
With figures that equal the proposed Chevrolet Volt without the wait and with the familiarity of the highly successful Toyota Prius platform, California outfit Jungle Motors may have a winner on their hands with their plug-in hybrid conversion kit. The company has been in the business of converting all sorts of cars to pure-electric vehicles and building lead-acid Prius plug-in hybrids for some time.
The new Prius plug-ins feature lithium-ion phosphate, or 'LifePO4' batteries, which promise greater power density and expanded range in comparison to the lead-acid models. In fact, Jungle Motors claims an all-electric driving range of over 40mi (64km) and an average fuel efficiency of 100mpg in a combination of 'battery only' and 'enhanced' hybrid mode, reports Gas2.0
Cost isn't a major issue, especially compared to the projected $40,000 price tag of the Volt. For $4,995 the company will sell a DIY Prius conversion kit for 2004-2009 models, or for $6,499 will install it for you. Sales of the new kit are planned to start in February, 2009.
Toyota has plans to release its own plug-in hybrid version of the Prius
, expected to arrive shortly before the Chevy Volt, which is expected to be its main competitor, but neither car is expected to arrive before 2010, putting Jungle Motors' conversion in a prime position for the near future.
Toyota plug-in hybrid Prius in UK