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One Step Further toward Ford Escape PHEVs: Hybrids Plus Gets NYSERDA Contract

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  • Felix Kramer
    NY State has budgeted $10 million to convert up to 600 vehicles in its Toyota/Ford/Honda hybrid fleet (see ) Now
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 20, 2006
      NY State has budgeted $10 million to convert up
      to 600 vehicles in its Toyota/Ford/Honda hybrid
      fleet (see
      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
      PHEVs. (See
      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
      <http://www.calcars.org/news-archive.html> for
      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 Technologies—a
      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.

      Contact Information:
      Hybrids Plus, Ann Colcord,
      colcord@..., www.hybrids-plus.com 303-444-0569
      ShurePower, Jeff Kim, jeff.shurepower@...,
      www.shurepower.com 503-892-7345
      NYSERDA, Ray Hull, rwh@..., www.nyserda.org , 518-862-1090, x3356

      -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
      Felix Kramer fkramer@...
      Founder California Cars Initiative
      -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
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