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EDrive Plug-in Prius Launched in Europe

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Amberjac Projects, a UK company, has announced that it is working with EnergyCS and Edrive Systems to launch the EDrive plug-in hybrid conversions in Europe.

EDrive Systems is a joint venture between EnergyCS and Clean-Tech which has introduced a commercial retrofit system that converts a Prius into a plug-in or ?Gas-Optional? hybrid (PHEV or GO-HEV). (Earlier post.)

Amberjac Projects is in the process of acquiring exclusive European rights from Edrive Systems and EnergyCS to offer integrated conversions and licensing of the Edrive Systems plug-in concept to integrators and OEM manufacturers.

A converted Toyota Prius will be available for demonstrations at the end of July 2005, with a fully commercialized vehicle conversion available in early 2006.

Amberjac is seeking early adopters for initial development vehicles?at a higher initial cost?to assist with the data generation programme or for extended fleet trials.

Recently the Edrive Systems Plug-in Prius hit nearly 102 mpg US measured by the fuel tank over the first 60 miles and a net 84 mpg over a 150-mile course in the Tour de Sol. (The Prius also consumed 10 kWh of electricity for charging the Li-ion batteries. The Tour de Sol group calculated the net effective mileage (factoring in the grid power) of 67 mpg US.) (Earlier post.)

Plug in upgrades will be offered for other hybrid vehicles as they become available from OEM manufacturers, such as the new Lexus RX400h hybrid, GS450h hybrid and the European version of the Ford Escape hybrid.

The key modifications of the Prius Plug-in conversion are:

A 9kWh Valence Saphion Li-ion battery system that replaces the standard 1.3 kWh NiMH pack

A BMU (Battery Management Unit) system that interfaces seamlessly with the Toyota Hybrid System

A compact onboard charging system to allow charging anywhere

The plug-in Prius provides up to 35 miles in full EV mode at urban speeds below 33 mph, and is targeted to deliver 130 mpg (Imperial) in the combined European driving cycle.

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