What is a plug-in hybrid vehicle?
Current hybrid vehicles have a gasoline engine that is assisted by an electric motor, which helps it save gas. A typical hybrid vehicle conserves fuel a few different ways. It recaptures energy lost through braking and decelerating. This recaptured energy is stored in a battery pack as electricity. As demand warrants, the stored electricity is used to power an electric motor that assists the vehicle's gasoline engine--usually during acceleration.
While a conventional hybrid vehicle may travel short distances in pure-electric mode, plug-in hybrids are designed to travel extended distances with little or no assistance from the gasoline engine. Even before the charge is depleted, the gasoline engine may be called on to provide additional power for recharging the battery, accelerating, passing, and merging.
While operating on the additional plug-in charge, a plug-in hybrid more-or-less works the opposite of a conventional hybrid, with the electric motor acting as the primary power source, and the gasoline engine providing supplemental motivation
How much does it cost?
Our Gen II and Gen III Prius 4kWh systems are $9,750 installed.
Our Gen II Prius 10kWh system is $12,250 installed, assuming that Wipomo recovers the Hybrid battery. In the case that the owner retains the Hybrid battery, the purchase price could be higher.
Our Gen III 10kWh system is $12,750 installed.
All prices are before taxes.
Can I really get 100+MPG?
You should expect to average about 100MPG while the larger battery has sufficient charge and can supply adequate power. Certain conditions can greatly effect the gas mileage, including total drive distance, average speed, acceleration, deceleration, engine demand, cumulative altitude change, weather conditions, battery temperature and many other variables which impact efficiency.
Do you remove the gas engine?
No. The original vehicle is intact and functions as normal, but with a larger capacity battery to store electricity. Should you ever want to remove the upgrade equipment, it is easy to return the vehicle back to its original configuration.
What happens when the Plug-In battery is depleted? What if I forget to Plug-In?
When the larger battery is nearly empty, the vehicle operates as a normal Prius hybrid, with average MPG similar to a stock OEM Prius, and continues to function normally as long as there is gas in the tank. However, there is a bigger battery for capturing regenerative energy, so you may experience better fuel economy even on days when you didn't plug-in.
Will I still use gasoline?
Sometimes, as gasoline engine power is required.
Will I lose any cargo space?
Our product fits in the space below the carpet/deck and above the spare tire.
Can I access my spare tire?
With the 4kWh system, you can access the spare tire. With our 10kWh system we suggest carrying it in cargo area of the trunk on longer trips, or subscribe to a service like AAA or Better World Club (a green alternative to AAA).
What is the payback or expected fuel cost savings?
For some, the biggest payback is driving past gas stations, setting a good example and doing what they think is right for our future. For others, upgrading pays back by making the original investment last longer, by creating U.S. jobs that can't be outsourced, by reducing harmful emissions and by increasing our energy security. One "Super Prius" owner says "The only things I've ever owned that paid me back are my solar panels and my converted Plug-In Prius." Doubling the fuel economy of a Prius will save about 150 gallons per year for the typical commute, or about $750 at $5/gallon (a five-year projected cost average). For some drivers that commute mostly in Electric Vehicle mode it is possible to save much more, as much as 300 gallons or $1500 per year. For Prius owners who have an older OEM Hybrid battery, the payback from gas savings is enhanced when compared to the cost of OEM Hybrid battery replacement.
What kind of receptacle is required to charge the car?
A standard 120v, 15A, grounded household receptacle.
How long does it take to charge a battery pack from empty to full?
About 5 hours.
How much does it cost for the electricity?
Overnight electricity rates are least expensive, typically $0.10 / kWh, or about $1 - $2 per charge. In a "Super Prius", driving on electricity costs about $0.02/mile, compared to $0.10/mile when driving on gasoline.
Can I plug in more than once a day?
Yes! The more you plug in, the less gasoline you'll use.
Should I get the new OEM Chevy Volt or Toyota Prius?
The 2013 Chevy Volt has an estimated EV range of 38 miles at a cost of about $45,000. Our 10kWh system has an estimated EV range of 30 miles all electric, at a cost of around $12,250.
The 2013 Toyota Prius Plug-In has an estimated EV range of 11 miles at a cost of about $35,000. Our 4kWh upgrade has an estimated EV range of 11 miles all electric, at a cost of around $9,750.
It is less expensive to convert to plug-in than it is to buy new. Make your investment last longer.
How 'green' is the electricity used to power the vehicle?
Compared to gasoline, electricity is cheaper, cleaner and domestic. (Felix Kramer)
Cheaper: 2 cents to 4 cents per mile for electricity compared to 8 cents to 50 cents per mile for gasoline.
Cleaner: an electric vehicle is lower in conventional emissions and greenhouse gas emissions that a gasoline car, even if the electricity comes from coal power generation.
Domestic: Electricity can come from many sources, but primarily it is domestic. Gasoline fuel comes from oil, either domestic or imported, but primarily it is imported. Electricity can come from renewable sources like wind, solar, wave, geothermal, and other domestic sources like natural gas and nuclear. Oil is limited and most of the oil future is controlled by other governments.
How much does it cost?
To make Plug-In Hybrid upgrades more accessible to everyone, we recommend that you consider lending solutions like prosper.com and lendingclub.com, in addition to credit union and bank auto loans, in order to provide low-cost, quick and easy access to financing.
If you’re interested in financing your purchase and would like to learn more about the process, please fill out the form or call (855) 692-3289 to discuss your options.
How do I set an installation appointment?
After you reserve an upgrade with a refundable deposit, we will contact you to schedule your appointment at your preferred installation location and at a convenient time.
What if my Prius needs service?
Your car must be healthy first before upgrading to Plug-In. If you have a problem with your battery, transaxle, or other hybrid component it must be fixed before we begin, except in the case where we replace your battery. If your Prius needs such repairs, we can recommend services within our network that cost significantly less than the dealer.
Should I just wait until my Prius battery dies?
No. For our Gen II 10kWh upgrade, we replace your existing hybrid battery and our price reflects a discount for reclaiming a usable battery. If you wait until the old battery is weak or dead, it may be worthless and cost money to recycle. For our other Prius conversion products, our upgrade supplements the existing Hybrid battery, so the battery and vehicle must be healthy. You can start saving money today by doubling your fuel economy.
Does it void my Warranty?
The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act makes it illegal for companies to void your warranty or deny coverage under the warranty simply because you used an aftermarket or recycled part. The FTC says the manufacturer or dealer must show that the aftermarket or recycled part caused the need for repairs before denying warranty coverage.
Our installation process does not damage the vehicle or inhibit the normal operation of the vehicle.
Six Toyota dealers have installed and serviced Plug-In Prius Gen II conversions for competitor Hymotion/A123Systems, including Westboro Toyota in Boston, Fitzgerald Toyota in Washington, Toyota of Hollywood in Los Angeles, and the Minneapolis-based Denny Hecker Automotive Group. The chances are very high that Toyota will honor their warranty. In the event Toyota does not honor their warranty, if a warrantied part is non-functional and the cause is clearly determined to be related to a Wipomo upgrade installation or service appointment, then Wipomo will take responsibility by taking action to remedy the situation.
Is it safe?
Our upgrades use lithium iron phosphate battery technology. Unlike some of the old lithium battery technologies, lithium phosphate is not prone to thermal run-away. Plug-in kits using the same battery technology have passed rigorous rear-end collision testing approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Wipomo uses 120v charger equipment only because faster charging can potentially damage batteries or shorten their lives.
During driving, Wipomo's product limits charge and discharge current to levels much lower than battery manufacturer specifications, to keep batteries safer and make them last longer.
The NHTSA is issuing the following precautions to take in the event of a crash involving an electric vehicle: • Consumers are advised to take the same actions they would in a crash involving a gasoline-powered vehicle-exit the vehicle safely or await the assistance of an emergency responder if they are unable to get out on their own, move a safe distance away from the vehicle, and notify the authorities of the crash. • Vehicle owners should not store a severely damaged vehicle in a garage or near other vehicles. Source: Jalopnik
How does extra weight effect injury safety in a crash?
Our upgrades add less than 200 lbs to the weight of the car, which is similar to having several pieces of luggage in the cargo space. Additional weight may actually have a beneficial effect in some accidents, according to The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety: "...the odds of being injured in a car crash are 25 percent lower for someone in a hybrid car compared to someone in the conventional version of the same car", "The reason is that high-tech batteries in hybrid cars are so heavy that hybrids, on average, are 10 percent heavier than non-hybrid cars. That extra mass means hybrid cars stand up better in accidents." Source: CBS News Source: Forbes
What is the relative risk for electric vehicle fire compared to internal combustion engine vehicle fire?
There are currently [early 2013] no field studies or statistics tracking fires in Electric vehicles, Plug-In Hybrids and Hybrids. Source: NBC Chicago
According to the National Fire Protection Association, "In 2003-2007, fire departments in the United States responded to an average of 287,000 vehicle fires per year. These fires caused an estimated 480 civilian deaths, 1,525 civilian injuries and $1.3 billion in direct property damage annually. Source: NFPA
"NHTSA does not believe electric vehicles are at a greater risk of fire than other vehicles." "In fact, all vehicles, both electric and gasoline-powered, have some risk of fire in the event of a serious crash." Source: Jalopnik
What about Ron Gremban's Prototype Vehicle Fire?
Ron Gremban is a brilliant engineer, inventor and energy efficiency expert. In 2004, his work on electric vehicles birthed an industry of Plug-In Hybrid vehicles and manufacturers.
Like Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, not all of Ron's endeavors succeed, but one that did is the Plug-In Hybrid car. That's why we should all be grateful of the groundbreaking work that Ron and Felix did at CarCars; it is because of their efforts that we have Plug-In Electric Vehicles from major OEMs today, like the Toyota Prius, the Chevy Volt, Honda Accord, Ford C-Max Energi and Ford Fusion Energi.
In 2013, Ron's original research prototype vehicle was involved in a fire that resulted in damage to his home and the vehicle parked inside the garage, where Ron researches electric vehicles. No determination has been made as to the cause of the fire. The damaged vehicle had been converted to Plug-In several times over several years, using various experimental products, designs and battery chemistries. The aftermarket Plug-In Hybrid conversion product in Ron's car, manufactured by Plug-In Conversions Corporation (PICC), was different than Wipomo's product in fundamental ways:
• Chemical composition. Plug-In Conversions Corporation uses NiMH batteries, Wipomo uses Li-Ion that is not prone to thermal runaway.
• Charger: PICC offers rapid charging 240v, Wipomo uses 120v only. Faster charging can damage batteries or shorten their life.
• Wipomo's product limits charge and discharge current to levels much lower than battery manufacturer specifications, to keep batteries safer and make them last longer.
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