The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

New Plug-in Hybrid Debuts at Clean Energy Event in Denver

September 26, 2006

DENVER -- A new plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, capable of 125 mpg and receiving electricity from or sending it to the grid, was displayed at "Clean Energy Partnerships." The event, part of the statewide Colorado's Tech Week, took place in Fort Collins on Sept. 18. The Colorado Governor's Office of Energy Management and Conservation (OEMC) worked with several partners on this project. Hybrids-Plus Inc. converted a 2006 Toyota Prius into a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) for demonstration purposes. A123Systems supplied the lithium ion batteries. The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Xcel Energy are responsible for performing a benefit analysis of the project. "Hybrids-Plus, based in Boulder, Colorado, is one of the few companies in the country to offer this conversion. This PHEV demonstration is generating a great deal of interest in other hybrid conversions," said Drew Bolin, director of OEMC. The batteries are a new generation of high-power lithium ion used for, among other things, cordless power tools, and have been installed as a self-contained battery pack in the rear of the vehicle. The design takes some of the space occupied by a storage tray now in the trunk, but allows access for, and to, the spare tire. "A123Systems' improvements in lithium ion battery technology will enable much greater yields in conventional transportation for vehicle mileage in a safe and reliable manner. A123Systems is involved in this PHEV demonstration in order to demonstrate the advantages of this technology and make it available on a wider scale to the public," said Roger Lin of A123Systems. This Prius will also soon have Vehicle to Grid (V2G) capability, which means it can provide power to, and receive power from, the electrical grid. A study by Xcel Energy and NREL will assess the collective effects of thousands of PHEVs. Further, the study will determine the emissions profile of the car, as well as those from the greater simulated number, to make recommendations how best to incorporate these new-generation vehicles into the electrical grid.
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