Calcars inspires EDrive for PHEVs: In May 2005, EnergyCS and Clean-Tech unveiled EDrive, LLC, their new company for Prius retrofits. They aim for sales of aftermarket conversion kits for Prius with higher capacity lithium batteries with up to 35 miles of drive time, for early 2006. This article gives the history of how Calcars helped inspire their formation, and what may happen next. Useful articles:
More attention to flexible-fuel PHEV:
Even George P. Shultz and R. James Woolsey are on the bandwagon. (June 2005): "We propose in this paper that the government vigorously encourage and support at least six technologies: two types of alternative fuels that are beginning to come into the market (cellulosic ethanol and biodiesel derived from a wide range of waste streams), two types of fuel efficient vehicles that are now being sold to the public in some volume (hybrid gasoline-electric and modern clean diesels), and one vehicle construction technique, the use of manufactured carbon-carbon composites, that is now being used for aircraft and racing cars and is quite promising as a way of reducing vehicle weight and fuel requirements while improving safety.
The sixth technology, battery improvement to permit "plug-in" hybrid vehicles, will require some development — although nothing like the years that will be required for hydrogen fuel cells. It holds, however, remarkable promise. Improving batteries to permit them to be given an added charge when a hybrid is garaged, ordinarily at night, can substantially improve mileage, because it can permit hybrids to use battery power alone for the first 10-30 miles. Since a great many trips fall within this range this can improve the mileage of a hybrid vehicle from, say, 50 mpg to over 100 mpg (of oil products). Also, since the average residential electricity cost is 8.5 cents/kwh (and in many areas, off-peak nighttime cost is 2-4 cents/kwh) this means that much of a plug-in hybrid's travel would be on the equivalent of 50 cent/gallon gasoline (or, off-peak, on the equivalent of 12-25 cent/gallon gasoline).
A plug-in hybrid averaging 125 mpg, if its fuel tank contains 85 per cent cellulosic ethanol, would be obtaining about 500 mpg. If it were constructed from carbon composites the mileage could double, and, if it were a diesel and powered by biodiesel derived from waste, it would be using no oil products at all. .. What are we waiting for?" 10:24:22 PM