May 3, 2005 (From the CalCars-News archive)
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, "gas-optional hybrids" (GO-HEVs) 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.
These vehicles will operate like any other Prius, with no necessity to drive slower or differently. They will re-charge overnight from conventional 110-volt outlets (no need to hunt for a place to plug in during the day).
We are beginning to have some information about when conversion options will be available. EDrive Systems LLC (the consortium created by EnergyCS, Inc. and Clean-Tech LLC), will offer retrofits as installed kits beginning in 2006 at prices to be announced. For information, subscribe to our Newsletter (see above) or contact EDrive via their website, http://www.edrivesystems.com.
They will include a warranty for the components, but 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 early generations). We think conversions will be possible for Toyota Highlander and Lexus RX-400 hybrids, and probably for Ford Escape. Because of their different architecture, we and EDrive are not investigating the feasibility of converting Honda 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://www.evworld.com/electrichybrid.dfm -- focus on PHEVs at site for general coverage of alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles
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
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