May 21, 2005 (From the CalCars-News archive)
HOW AND WHEN CAN I GET A PRIUS FROM EDRIVE SYSTEMS?
Thanks for asking. To keep people up-to-date on the progress of PRIUS+, CalCars, "gas-optional hybrids" (GO-HEVs) or "plug-in hybrids" (PHEVs) in general, and EDrive Systems' conversions, please join our CalCars-News list. At http://groups.yahoo.com/group/calcars-news, you can subscribe to the low-traffic CalCars-PHEV Newsletter -- and watch our website for our progress.
These vehicles will operate like any other Prius, with no necessity to drive slower or differently. They will re-charge overnight from conventional 120-volt outlets (no need to hunt for a place to plug in during the day).
The initial EDrive Prius systems are proof of concept prototypes. EDrive Systems, LLC is working with technology partners EnergyCS, Clean-Tech and Valence Technology to reduce component, manufacturing and installation costs. EDrive's GOAL is to have a commercial retrofit option available in early 2006 with an installed cost of $10-$12,000. Initial systems will be installed in Southern California. Additional licensed installers may make EDrive systems available elsewhere later in 2006. To find out more, please visit http://www.edrivesystems.com.
Toyota could decide that the conversion voids some or part of your car or hybrid system warranty (unless the company worries that will tarnish its green image). We won't know how dealers will respond to service requests for this car until we start driving them.
The first conversions will be for 2004-2006 Prius (not 1997-203 "Classic" Prius). Later, conversions may be possible for Ford Escape, then for Toyota Highlander and Lexus RX-400 hybrids. Because of Honda's different architecture (in Integrated Motor Assist cars, the engine always runs when the electric motor is in use), we and EDrive are not investigating the feasibility of converting Insight, Civic or Accord hybrids.
To learn more about PHEVs, hybrids and alternative fuel vehicles:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/priusplus/ - PRIUS+ PHEV Conversion Group discussions
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gridable-hybrids -- PHEV general discussions
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Prius-2G -- 2004 Prius issues
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Prius_Technical_Stuff -- Prius nuts and bolts
http://www.priuschat.com -- general Prius info and talk
http://www.hybridcars.com -- all about hybrids
http://www.evworld.com/electrichybrid.dfm -- focus on PHEVs at site for general coverage of alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles
Meanwhile, we thank you in advance for your encouragement, and hope you'll spread the word about our efforts. If you know of any individuals in a position to discuss fleet purchases, provide us with substantial support or celebrity endorsements, please send them our way. If you want to contact Toyota to tell them you'd like a Prius or other Toyota/Lexus/Scion GO-HEV, we suggest you contact your local dealer, and feel free to send a copy of any email you write to priusplus@....
And here's the (non-profit) advertisement: we ask that you support us by becoming a Charter Sponsor (tax-deductible contribution of $95 or any other amount at http://www.calcars.org/sponsor.html -- we are an almost-entirely volunteer operation, and could do much more with additional resources!
Regards, Felix Kramer