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