Those of visit this site regularly will know that one of my personal projects has been to convert a 2004 Prius (affectionately known as Velma) to a plug in hybrid.
The conversion process has certainly not been plain sailing – but that’s been due to my own stupidity and impatience. (Simply put, I didn’t properly check the battery health when I installed a second-hand pack. I learned the hard way and blew one pack up, a few days after installation. £300 later and I was able to re-install a PHEV pack.)
(Video and more information available after the jump)
A few months after first driving with a plug-in conversion Velma is now a full-time PHEV prius. I’ve done all sorts of driving on the last tank, which lasted an astonishingly long 805 miles, translating to an indicated 87.8 UK Miles Per Gallon on my car’s display. Not bad.
If I can keep this kind of economy up I’ll be looking to pay off the cost of the conversion in about 18 months.
In terms of recharges I’m estimating that I recharged Velma about 25-30 times during the last tank. A full recharge equates to a shade over 3.5 KWH of stored energy. I’ll leave you to work out how much that costs.
If you’re in the Bristol area and want to have a ride in Velma, please leave me a comment on my blog, or find me on twitter at http://www.twitter.com/aminorjourney .
More details on conversions for priuses can be found at the CalCars website. and HybridInterfaces.