Mar 19, 2005 (From the CalCars-News archive)
This message will appear periodically as a posting to our Newsletter designed to keep people up-to-date on the progress of PRIUS+, CalCars, and "gas-optional hybrids" (GO-HEVs) or "plug-in hybrids" (PHEVs) in general.
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).
Though we do not yet have any information about when conversion options will be available to individuals or what they will cost, when they do (from for-profit companies, not directly from us), we expect they will be installed kits. 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.
We expect to be able to convert 2004-2006 Prius (not early generations). We think conversions will be possible for Toyota Highhlander and Lexus RX-400 hybrids, and probably for Ford Escape. Because of their different architecture, we 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 -- plug-in hybrids 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 -- general discussions of alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles
Meanwhile, we thank you in advance for your encouragement, we 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.
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