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1CalCars PRIUS+ Fact Sheet Version 1.2

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  • Felix Kramer
    Mar 1, 2005
    • 0 Attachment
      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

      1. Specifications
      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

      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/priusplus/ PRIUS+ PHEV Conversion Group
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/calcars-news CalCars-PHEV Newsletter
      http://www.calcars.org and http://www.priusplus.org

      * Conversion platform is a stock 2004 Prius hybrid (HEV).
      * Prius hybrid battery pack (Panasonic 6.5 Ah, 201.6 Volt, 99 lb/45kg.)
      remains unused during PHEV operation and can be used in normal hybrid mode
      as needed, e.g., for comparison (in future prototypes, this battery may be
      * New battery pack, completely replacing Prius pack (for this temporary
      first prototype, we used low-performance but resilient lead acid (PbA) for
      testing purposes and to obtain design criteria for higher-performance
      packs): 18 electric bicycle B&B 20Ah 12Volt SLA batteries from Electric
      Rider (nominal 12 Ah, 2.4 kWh total at the car's high discharge rates, 216
      Volt, 240 lb without associated hardware and components).
      * Batteries positioned in empty well below hatchback deck, with independent
      manually switchable air cooling system.
      * Batteries recharged via standard 110-volt outlet in 3 hours, using Brusa
      NLG5 charger.
      * Battery Management System and Controller/Display Unit (CDU) by Energy
      Control Systems Engineering (EnergyCS) of Monrovia, CA. No change to Toyota
      Hybrid System (THS) controls.
      * Data from battery and CAN (Controller Area Network) bus interface.
      Dashboard analog meters display battery voltage and current. EnergyCS
      in-dash digital display includes battery voltage and current, Amp-hours
      used from the battery, vehicle power requested (e.g. via throttle
      position), battery state-of-charge (SOC) reported to the THS, and
      thousandths of gallons of gasoline used per trip.
      * State of Charge information sent to THS is set semi-automatically to
      force energy use and regenerative braking regimen (automation will be
      fine-tuned in future iterations).
      * Configuration permits rapid reversion to standard hybrid operation using
      the Prius's Battery Management System and retained original battery.
      * Operation permits electric-only mode at up to 35 mph; above 35 mph,
      battery energy continues to assist the engine, contributing to lower
      gasoline consumption. The PbA battery is good for 10 all-electric miles, 20
      assisted miles, or mixes of the two. Then operation reverts to normal HEV
      mode, still using the new battery pack.

      * Heavy lead-acid batteries add approx. 300 lb total, reducing mileage by
      approx. 5 mpg in standard HEV operation on city streets (because of
      acceleration losses), but by little or nothing at highway speeds (where
      wind resistance is the main factor). Lower internal resistance of future
      (lighter) battery packs is expected to increase the efficiency of standard
      HEV operation sufficiently to restore original standard HEV city mileage
      even when grid-charging energy is not involved.
      Equivalent mpg numbers and operation costs depend on patterns of use (total
      miles driven/day, speeds driven).
      The following examples show improved performance (expected to be better
      with lighter, more efficient batteries; plus, low PHEV and HEV mileage is
      due to short runs, hilly Marin County terrain, and other local features):
      * 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).

      * Nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) (27Ah, 5.4 kWh, 225 lb extra after removal of
      existing hybrid battery); up to 20 mile all-electric range or 40 mile
      assisted range.
      * Lithium-ion (Li-Ion) (35-40 Ah, 9 kWh, 160-190 lb extra after removal of
      existing hybrid battery); up to 30 mile all-electric range or 60 mile
      assisted range.
      Improved performance as well as additional electric range can be expected
      from the above batteries, due to significantly lower internal resistance
      * Then, we hope, "installed kits" for purchase from 3rd-party
      partners--stay tuned!)


      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


      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