Mar 1, 2005 (From the CalCars-News archive)
This is the first message posted to CalCars-News, the CalCars-PHEV Newsletter.
The latest version of this document is found in the Files area of this Group..
FACT SHEET for CalCars PRIUS+ Prototype #1 version 1.2 March 1, 2005
2. Performance data of current prototype
3. Future prototypes and consumer conversions
4. How and when can I get a PRIUS+?
5. About CalCars (sponsor of PRIUS+ Project)
6. Performance data of partnering groups' conversions (to come)
This summary of the conversion completed in Fall 2004 brings you up to speed on what we've done -- and where we're heading. This Fact Sheet is a work in progress (be sure you're reading the latest version). A neatly formatted (currently 2-page version) is found at the calcars.org and priusplus.org URLs.For the latest technical discussions, see the Conversion Group. Join the Newsletter Group to keep up with the latest information. Contact us if you're interested in becoming involved!
-Felix Kramer fkramer@... Founder, California Cars Initiative
-Ron Gremban rgremban@... -- Technical Lead, PRIUS+ Project
2. PHEV PERFORMANCE DATA WITH PBA BATTERIES
- Under 10-mile all-electric propulsion (at under 35 mph), infinite mpg (i.e., no gasoline use) plus 262 grid Watt-hours/mile vs. 50-60 mpg as a normal HEV.
- 14 mile round trips, including approx. 10 miles on hilly freeways: 58-105 mpg + 185-226 grid Wh/mi, compared to 34-38 actual HEV mpg on the same course, driving with the extra battery weight -- otherwise maybe 37-41 mpg.
- 26-28 mile trips with lots of surface streets: 55-65 mpg +124-164 grid Wh/mi.
- Beyond 20 miles per day (40 miles per day with NiMH or 50+ miles/day with Li-Ion batteries), normal HEV mileage -- except better mileage on long descents due to ability to store more recovered energy -- and no further electricity use. All-electric miles: power cost approx. 1.25 cents/mile (assumption of 250 Wh/mi and 5 cents/kWh on California off-peak EV "E-9" (PG&E) rate, and not amortizing battery cost), vs. approx. 4.5 cents/gasoline mile ($2/gallon, 45 mpg). Charging with otherwise unused and unsold photovoltaic power costs zero/mile (not amortizing system cost).
3. FUTURE PROTOTYPES, POSSIBLE CONSUMER CONVERSIONS
4. HOW AND WHEN CAN I GET A PRIUS+?
Thanks for asking. We've started a list to keep people up-to-date on the progress of PRIUS+, CalCars, and "gas-optional" or "plug-in" hybrids (PHEVs) in general. At http://groups.yahoo.com/group/calcars-news, subscribe to the low-traffic CalCars-PHEV Newsletter, and watch our website for our progress.
Though we do not yet have any information about when conversion options will be available to individuals; when they do (from for-profit companies, not directly from us), we expect they will be installed kits, with some kind of warranty for the components, but we do expect the conversion will void some or part of your Toyota warranty.
We expect to be able to convert 2004-2005 Prius (not early generations), and, because they use a completely different design and have no EV-only mode, we are devoting no attention to conversions of Honda Insight, Civic or Accord hybrids. We do think conversions may be possible for Ford Escape, Toyota Highlander, and Lexus RX-400 hybrids.
Meanwhile, we thank you in advance for your encouragement, we hope you'll spread the word about our efforts. 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). And if you know of any individuals in a position to discuss fleet purchases, provide us with more substantial support or celebrity endorsements, please send them our way -- we are an almost-entirely volunteer operation, and could do much more with additional resources!
5. ABOUT CALCARS, SPONSOR OF THE PRIUS+ PROJECT
The California Cars Initiative (http://www.calcars.org) is a Palo Alto-based nonprofit startup. We're a group of entrepreneurs, engineers and other citizens promoting high-efficiency low-emission cars and harnessing buyer demand to help commercialize advanced technologies. Somewhat uniquely, we focus both on public policy and technology development. We're demonstrating the immediate opportunity and benefits of what are variously called "gas-optional or plug-in" hybrids (PHEVs). The next generation of hybrid cars can be based entirely on existing components. They're basically like some current hybrids but with larger batteries and the ability to re-charge conveniently, so local travel is electric, yet the vehicle has unlimited range. While hybrids may cut gasoline use by on-third, PHEVS can cut out another third. We see it as the future pathway to multi-fuel PHEVs, including biodiesel. And it makes hydrogen cars more affordable by reducing the size of the fuel cell stack and the amount of hydrogen stored.
We've begun with a prototype conversion we call "PRIUS+" in the hopes of persuading Toyota and other automakers to build PHEVs for a market we expect to expand as the Kyoto Protocols and parallel state and international greenhouse gas initiatives are phased in. We're working to demonstrate demand initially from early adopter individuals and institutions. We're working closely with other PHEV advocates to develop fleet orders from utilities, government and private companies. With our for-profit integration partners, we hope later this year to offer installed conversion "kits" to celebrities and entrepreneurs. We're looking first at cars that use Toyota's "Hybrid Synergy Drive" (Prius, Lexus, Highlander, Nissan), followed by Ford's Escape and other forthcoming hybrids.
We're also involved in advocacy and public policy, bringing together the growing attention given to this little-known technology (see our roundup at http://www.calcars.org/kudos.html). We're educating the large market of car buyers who will pay extra for green cars. We're presenting the benefits of PHEVs, along with wind and solar power, as a coordinated response to two of our greatest challenges: global warming and energy security. We're exploring with public officials ways to provide incentives to auto makers to build PHEVs, and with government and industry suppliers the opportunities for California to become a design, production (perhaps) an assembly center for PHEVs.
We're a mostly-volunteer effort (at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/priusplus/ see our open-source-style technology discussion group documenting our effort), but we've received contributions from a well-known entrepreneur and a major foundation, with others to come.
California Cars Initiative
PO Box 61222
Palo Alto, CA 94306