NY State has budgeted $10 million to convert up
to 600 vehicles in its Toyota/Ford/Honda hybrid
Now Hybrids Plus, a Colorado company that has
previously been working on Prius conversions
(using A123 Systems nano-lithium batteries) is
the first to announce that its contract award -- for a Ford Escape Hybrid.
We expect further announcements soon from other
companies and from the state. At the EDTA
conference in November, NYSERDA Program Manager
Richard Drake described the bid results. NYS
received 16 proposals from 9 teams, 8 for Prius,
6 for Escape, 2 for Civic. We don't know the
names of the six winniners, but more than one
company will be working on the Escape.
(Separately from this program, Hymotion already
has added an additional battery to the Ford
Escape Hybrid, though we haven't heard of any
deliveries and don't yet have any independent reports of performance.)
Hybrids Plus didn't wait for the award to get
started. And in the honorable tradition of the
original engineers who enabled the Prius "EV
button," the CalCars first PRIUS+ conversion, and
the EAA-PHEV "Do-It-Yourself" Prius project
currently underway, it will be making much of its
"reverse engineering" discoveries available
online "Open-Source-Style" to experimenters --
and in this case to its competition. At
you can see photos and information posted by
Davide Andrea of Hybrids Plus about physical and
wiring characteristics of the existing hybrid
battery. (This is the same website where we and
others are posting information about all hybrid
conversion projects. You can see where existing
converted Priuses are at <http://www.calcars.org/where-phevs-are.html
Ford has not joined DaimlerChrysler, Toyota, GM
and Nissan in announcing any plans to develop
CalCars' six-month effort ended with Bill Ford
saying "We have nothing to announce today, but
yes we are very keenly looking at it, and working
with that technology." (See
Ford postings in May 2006.) We continue to
attempt through multiple channels to persuade the
company to either build a PHEV version of its own
hybrids, or work with one of several companies
that have approached Ford since then.
Here's the press release from Hybrids Plus.
Hybrids Plus, Inc. to Convert a Ford Escape
Hybrid Electric Vehicle to a Plug-in for New York
State Fleet PHEV Technology Initiative
BOULDER, CO [December 20, 2006] The New York
State Energy Research and Development Authority
(NYSERDA) has awarded Hybrids Plus, Inc., working
in partnership with ShurePower, Inc., a contract
to convert a Ford Escape hybrid electric vehicle
(HEV) to a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. This
project, as part of the New York State Plug-in
Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) Technology
Initiative, is proving the viability of PHEV
technology and the related environmental benefits
when applied to the sport utility vehicle (SUV).
The major benefit of converting an HEV to a PHEV
is increased reliance on clean electric power and
significantly improved gasoline mileage per
gallon. This increase yields a lower fuel and
operating cost, reduced CO2 emissions for lower
environmental impact, and reduced dependence on
foreign oil sources. After converting the Ford
Escape Hybrid the PHEV conversion kit will
undergo testing and qualification for deployment
in the New York State-owned vehicle fleet, and
Hybrids Plus will be positioned to offer PHEV
conversions to NYSERDA and other owners of hybrid
SUV models, a major market in the USA.
New York State seeks to accelerate the adoption
and use of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles in
the State fleet and as personal vehicles. We, at
NYSERDA, are pleased to work with Hybrids Plus to
convert the Ford Escape Hybrid to plug-in
service, said Peter R. Smith, NYSERDA president
and CEO. He also noted that five other vehicles
are being converted for testing and evaluation
before potentially moving on to the other
400-plus hybrid units already in the State fleet.
Converting HEVs to PHEVs helps minimize the
impact of transportation on the environment.
Bringing plug-in conversion technology to SUV
Hybrids promises to produce even more
environmentally friendly vehicles in the future,
said Carl Lawrence, president of Hybrids Plus.
PHEV development is a promising new technology
that will reduce petroleum consumption and
associated emissions from the transportation
sector. Our modular components can be used to
quickly install weather-proof charging outlets in
parking lots and wherever else PHEVs are parked,
stated Jeff Kim, Chief Operating Officer, ShurePower, Inc.
The New York State Energy Research and
Development Authority (NYSERDA) is a public
benefit corporation created in 1975 by the New
York State Legislature to promote research and
development and environmental protection
activities. For more information on NYSERDA and
its programs, visit www.nyserda.org or call 1-866-NYSERDA
ShurePower, of Rome, NY, with offices in
Portland, Oregon and Washington, DC, will assist
Hybrids Plus in the evaluation and testing of the
conversion. Offering tremendous economic and
environmental advantage, ShurePower presently
deploys Truck Stop Electrification Technologiesa
plug-in infrastructure at truck stops, rest
areas, travel plazas, warehouses, and truck
depots which provides the electricity needs of
long haul drivers without having to idle engines.
For more information, visit www.shurepower.com.
Hybrids Plus, based in Boulder, Colorado, is
one of a very few United States corporations
dedicated to the conversion of hybrid electric
vehicles (HEVs) to plug-in hybrid electric
vehicles (PHEVs). The company launched its first
prototype conversion of a Toyota Prius for the
State of Colorado Office of Energy Management in
September 2006. Presently the firm focuses on
converting HEV vehicles for: government entities,
utility companies, corporate and industrial
fleets, non-profit organizations, and consumers.
The result is a vehicle that can efficiently
plug in, charge up, and drive on. For more
information, visit www.hybrids-plus.com.
Hybrids Plus, Ann Colcord,
, www.hybrids-plus.com 303-444-0569
ShurePower, Jeff Kim, jeff.shurepower@...
NYSERDA, Ray Hull, rwh@...
, www.nyserda.org , 518-862-1090, x3356
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Felix Kramer fkramer@...
Founder California Cars Initiative
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