HOW TO HACK A HYBRID
For ‘hybrid hackers’ selling plug-in kits for the Prius, high gas prices add up to a big opportunity. By David Kushner, Business 2.0 Magazine
Rising gas prices and booming sales of the Toyota Prius mean a big opportunity for Pete Nortman. A year and a half ago, the Monrovia, Calif., engineer hacked his Prius by replacing the battery with a lithium-ion version and adding a system that plugs into an ordinary 110-volt socket.
After charging in the garage overnight, the souped-up Prius gets about 100 miles per gallon–roughly twice what a regular Prius gets at best. "This is just the beginning," Nortman says.
Now EDrive, the startup Nortman co-founded, and Hymotion, a competitor based outside Toronto, are set to turn such tinkering into cash. They’re the first two companies to market PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) kits for Prius drivers.
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