Plug-In Supply in Petaluma, California, is selling plug-in conversion kits for the Toyota Prius for the low, low price of $4,995. How can they sell it so cheap? First, that’s the price of the kit only, no shipping or installation included; second, they’re using CalCars Open Source Prius+ Technology as the basis of the conversion.
For you do-it-yourselfers and engineers out there, the kit includes lead-acid batteries and the box to hold them, charger, and wire harness. There’s also a switch you can flip to operate your Prius on battery power up to 52 mph — 10 mph higher than an unmodfied Prius. The converted PHEV can then run 10-15 miles on electricity before the gasoline engine kicks in, giving you 100+ mpg. Plug-In Supply even designed the kit to be upgraded to lithium-iron-phosphate batteries for longer range, when they become available.
There are currently only a handful of dealers where you can buy the kit and lug it home, but Plug-In Supply is looking for more. Those nine dealers already on board stretch from California to Florida and New Jersey, though, so you might be able to find one not too far from home.