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Can Congress Hear From 6,692 Plug-In Supporters Today?
Feb 11, 2009 (From the CalCars-News archive)
This posting originally appeared at CalCars-News, our newsletter of breaking CalCars and plug-in hybrid news. View the original posting here.
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To the 6,692 subscribes to CalCars-News: The House Senate Conference on the stimulus bill is underway right now. It will take about two minutes to send a message -- using the ultra-easy, user-friendly page at Plug In America's­stimulus . That page explains the issues broadly. All you have to do is enter your zip code and follow instructions, and send messages to your Representative and Senators and the key national players. The standard letter is simple but includes many specific provisions -- and you can modify the letter as you please.

Don't wait: this needs to happen now at­stimulus

In addition to the general effort supporting the legislation, CalCars has been working with PIA and the aftermarket companies to keep the 10% credit for conversions hybrids and internal combustion engine vehicles in the legislation. Below is our letter we're faxing to key members, and those from Plug-In Conversions of Poway, CA and Poulsen Hybrid of Shelton, Connecticut.


WE URGE Congress to retain provisions to incentivize aftermarket conversions by certified companies of internal combustion vehicles. This will give companies grow the long-term market signals that will enable them to attract investment, refine, test and validate their products, and build successful businesses.

We also join the many constituencies and the entire plug-in community in urging that all of the provisions of Sections 1124, 1131, 1151, 1303, EERE advanced battery grants, and the fleet procurement of plug-ins from the Senate version of H.R.1 are included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

We believe there is an enormous business opportunity waiting to happen: in every town, city and state: converting today's gas-guzzlers. They can become vehicles that sip gas because they also are powered partly by electricity, or that become as clean as the electricity they use because they are entirely electrically powered. We see this potential for a substantial portion of the more than 250 million vehicles on the road in the United States -- and we believe U.S. companies could gain revenues by developing solutions that can be franchised and licensed to convert many of the nearly one billion cars, pickups, SUVs and large vehicles on the road globally. We believe this opportunity has been under-appreciated, with some exceptions, such as former Intel CEO Andy Grove, singer Neil Young, and PHEV inventor Andy Frank. (See our descriptive page and links about this enormous market at­ice-conversions.html.)

As a non-profit organization promoting plug-in cars, we are coordinating our efforts with more than 10 companies that are developing these solutions, listed below. These are in addition to the companies currently converting hybrid cars (listed at­howtoget.html), many of which we expect will evolve to also convert non-hybrids. These firms can help create a new industry that could generate many skilled local jobs in every community, and allow even people who can't afford a new vehicle to conserve fuel. And their work will contribute to building the entire supply chain including production of batteries, motors and electronics. You are hearing individually from some of these companies; here's the far-flung list (we are increasingly in touch with new additions to this list):

  • ConVerdant Vehicles (New Hampshire)
  • Efficient Drivetrains Inc (California)
  • Electradrive (California)
  • EV Power Systems (North Carolina)
  • H-Line Conversions (Kansas)
  • Hybrid Electric Vehicle Technologies (Illinois)
  • Linc Volt (California)
  • Partnerships One (New Jersey)
  • Poulsen Hybrid (Connecticut
  • Rapid Electric Vehicles (Vancouver)
  • Re-Involt Hybrid Conversions (N. Carolina)

These companies are developing prototypes and building their businesses. They are on the verge of having solutions that can be sold in volume. And the 10% credit that could provide up to $4,000 per vehicle for conversions is an important carrot. Soon we will see more and more light-duty vehicles that now get 10-30 miles per gallon of gasoline transformed into ones getting 25-100+ MPG of gasoline plus a few cents a mile of electricity. As the benefits for energy security and global warming of this solution emerge, we need incentives that more fully reflect those social benefits Though the result of plug-in conversions can of course never provide the optimal efficiency of purpose-designed electrified vehicles that will eventually fill the fleet, retrofit electrification of a vehicle requires only one-fifth the energy required to build a new vehicle, and retains the value of materials embedded in existing vehicles. Such conversions -- if extended to conversion of non-hybrids as well -- could at least double the rate of penetration of light vehicle electrification into the fleet, and dramatically speed up displacement of oil and produce significant near- and mid-term reductions in CO2 and petroleum dependency. Before new plug-in vehicles are a significant percentage of new vehicles, and long before the global fleet of vehicles can mostly plug in, conversions are an important solution that deserves support.

Thank you for your attention Felix Kramer, Founder,

The California Cars Initiative ( and Our Mission: CalCars is a Palo Alto-based 501(c)3 nonprofit organization of entrepreneurs, engineers, environmentalists and consumers dedicated to promoting the commercialization of 100+MPG plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) to help solve two of today's greatest challenges: climate change and energy security. We demonstrate workable technology solutions to raise awareness, harness market demand, motivate automakers and advance public policy to speed the mass-production of PHEVs. We gained attention through conversions -- our strategy to build public awareness and motivate carmakers to mass produce PHEVS. In 2004 we did the first retrofit in a Corte Madera residential garage, placing our designs into the public domain at We built on the work done by Prof. Andy Frank and dedicated people in the auto and utilities industry and government to advance PHEV concepts. Our efforts helped prompt the President, the US Department of Energy, Senators, Representatives, Governors, Mayors, and others to endorse this solution as a way to solve key intersecting problems: energy security, CO2 emissions, the future product mix of the auto industry, and costs per mile. They gave elected officials, corporate executives, industry analysts, NGOs and ordinary drivers a preview of a plug-in future. They helped motivate battery developers to focus on the opportunities within the auto industry. These efforts since then have helped bring us to the point where many carmakers are now planning to build PHEVs and EVs. Conversions are essential to preserve forward progress in this industry.


I am writing in support of the Cantwell-Hatch FREEDOM Act of 2009 to create additional incentives for manufacturers and buyers of aftermarket Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) conversions. These conversions have the potential to help mitigate our climate crisis, increase our reliance on domestic energy sources, and create countless green industry jobs. Aftermarket PHEV conversions, as well as factory produced PHEVs now promised by the automakers in response, will no doubt help President Obama meet his goal of putting one million plug-in vehicles on the road by 2015.

Plug-in Conversions Corporation (PICC) is now an associate company of Gold Peak Industries North America (Gold Peak), a battery manufacturer with sales in the billion dollars per year range. Building on the financial and engineering resources of Gold Peak, PICC will soon be a major player in the PHEV conversion business. As such, we are absolutely committed to complete testing and full compliance with safety regulations and emissions certification. We expect to produce many thousands of units over the next couple years.

Our conversion is as simple as replacing the original battery in a Toyota Prius with a much larger but same technology pack, and adding an on-board charger and bumper plug. Over 100 mpg can be attained with a combination of all electric city and mileage boosted highway driving. There are close to 1 million Prius vehicles in the U.S today, and converting a large fraction of them can greatly reduce emissions (especially CO2) and the demand for gasoline. The conversion cost of $12,500 has a break- even of about 5 years when gasoline rises above $6 per gallon. Until then, PHEV conversion credits are the best way to make it possible for the many hundreds of people with whom I have personally spoken to make the change now, but simply can’t afford it.

The PHEV conversion industry has sparked a paradigm shift reminiscent of the 1980’s Personal Computer “revolution”. Incentives for those who purchase PHEV conversions will help to greatly accelerate this shift. I urge your support of the 2009 FREEDOM Act, including Plug-In Hybrid Conversion Credits.


Kim Adelman , CEO, Plug-In Conversions Corporation, Poway, CA­


I am writing on behalf of Poulsen Hybrid and the 248 million vehicle owners in the United States many of whom would like incentives for converting their conventional vehicles into a plug-in hybrid.

Your support of the Cantwell-Hatch FREEDOM Act of 2009 and the incentives in it for buyers of aftermarket Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) conversions will create jobs in local communities, reduce our dependency on foreign oil, and help towards cleaner air.

The Poulsen Hybrid attaches battery powered motors onto the rear wheels of a vehicle and provides 20 to 30 miles of battery assisted power. The cost to convert a vehicle is $8,500 installed and takes less than 4 hours. The Poulsen Hybrid as shown above on a conventional 2006 Honda Civic includes motors, controller, and a 4.3 KwH lithium-ion battery pack.

President Obama’s goal of putting one million plug-in vehicles on the road by 2015 will only happen if plug-in hybrid conversions receive the same incentives that are being offered to purchasers of new plug- in hybrid vehicles. I wish the incentives being offered for plug-in hybrid conversions were larger in the 2009 FREEDOM Act because it is my belief after talking with over 200 car dealers and repair shops nationwide that if incentives could lower the cost of converting a conventional vehicle below $5,000 it would be the tipping point for massive consumer adoption.

As a country, we need General Motors to succeed with their Volt. As a consumer, in these economic times, do I really need a $40,000 Chevy Volt when any perfectly good conventional car or first generation hybrid with many years of life left can be converted to a plug-in hybrid for $8,500?

Your support of the 2009 FREEDOM Act will be a much needed boost for rebuilding business for the car dealerships and independent repair shops nationwide that are struggling to survive. Poulsen Hybrid is in full support of Federal safety regulations. We have submitted our application for CARB certification and are awaiting feedback. The Poulsen Hybrid has received positive feedback from NHSTA on our product.

I urge you to support the 2009 FREEDOM Act and to make sure that it includes incentives for converting conventional vehicles into Plug-In hybrids.

Sincerely yours,

Frank Kuchinski, VP Marketing, Poulsen Hybrid, LLC Shelton, CT­

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