While I understand the concept of getting as much out of your hybrid as possible (as far as mileage goes), the economic issues that keep many consumers away from buying a hybrid vehicle in the first place will probably keep many of those who buy a hybrid from converting theirs into a plug-in hybrid.
At $12K ($6500 next year), converting your hybrid into a plug-in may not make a lot of economic sense. Even at 100+ mpg, spending that much money on converting your hybrid car is questionable.
Questions I have about converting your car. By running your car on batteries longer, are you going to run into a dead battery that much sooner? At $3000 to replace a hybrid battery, that could be an expensive replacement. Also, (I believe) you add extra batteries in order to run longer on all-electric. Where do those batteries go? These aren't small items, so cutting down on your trunk space could be a real issue. And what about the extra weight?
My other question revolves around the benefits. Are you running "cleaner"? And if so, by how much?
California Cars Initiative estimate a market base of 100,000 plug-in vehicles. That seems high to me, given the significant extra cost and the limited supply of Prius to work with.
The hack-a-hybrid kit - July 1, 2006
The EDrive kit will debut by December with a price of $12,000, installation included. Hymotion's kit, also due later this year, will cost $12,500, a figure that co-founder Ricardo Bazzarella plans to drop to $6,500 by this time next year. He estimates profit margins of 20 to 25 percent and says the success of his business hinges on public awareness.