Thursday, November 13, 2008

Plug-in Portland

You can get a plug-in car right now! Auto manufactures are promising they will have vehicles in 2010 but don't hold your breath. The Saturn Vue Plug-in was scheduled for 2009 but it has just slipped its schedule to mid-2010. 

A local Portland company, Shorepower Technologies, now offers PHEV conversions based on the CalCars Plug-In Supply kit.  They already offer the Hybrids Plus conversion. The good news about this new method is that it is cheaper.  It uses 20 lead acid motorcycle batteries to convert a 2004+ Prius into a PHEV.
 
The batteries sit in a plastic storage tub on top of the spare tire and below the carpeted cover. The box lifts up with gas shocks for easy access to the spare tire. 

An upgraded rear suspension (stronger springs) is included in the conversion. You can drive in EV mode at speeds up to 50 MPH. 
 
Range in EV only mode is estimated at 8-12 miles. If you want a longer EV range, the Hybrids Plus option gets 30-40 miles EV range. 

The additional battery pack is wired in parallel to the main pack and accepts regen. You should get about 80 MPG. 

Price:
$6700 standard kit (includes parts, labor and shipping) 
Battery monitoring system is an additional $400 (parts and labor)
 
Shorepower also offers EV conversions.  They currently have a 2000 Jetta available for $18,000.

Exciting times for EV's!

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