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Toyota Highlander Hybrid, Honda Civic, Hybrid Cars
#304 of 330 Re: PHEV fire [tpe]
Jun 26, 2008 (4:11 pm)
I was thinking this occurred while being charged. It was in fact while being driven.
On June 7, 2008, the converted Prius plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) owned by Central Electric Power Cooperative in Columbia, SC, was destroyed by an internal fire that occurred during a routine drive. Thankfully, there were no injuries. But the converted Prius was destroyed. The cause of the fire is not known.
This raises the question if the charging device is part of the original Prius or aftermarket. Of course Toyota can not be held responsible for changes to the original Prius. I am sure Toyota is not thrilled having their baby kluged up and displayed all charred from a fire.
#305 of 330 Re: PHEV fire [gagrice]
Jun 26, 2008 (5:02 pm)
"On June 7, 2008, the converted Prius plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) owned by Central Electric Power Cooperative in Columbia, SC, was destroyed by an internal fire that occurred during a routine drive"
I would never get an aftermarket phev setup. These systems are so complex, and the components so unproven, that I want Toyota's or GM's neck on the line (along with mine).
#306 of 330 Re: PHEV fire [gagrice]
Jun 27, 2008 (6:57 am)
I didn't see any mention of A123 Systems in that article. The article also stated that the Li-ion batteries were intact. So it wasn't a thermal runaway issue. I'm guessing it was an electrical fire similar to what might occur in a home with shoddy wiring. While this is definitely something to be concerned about I don't think this is the type of fire that will be explosive in nature where the passengers will have no time to escape. I do agree that it's pretty bad PR for EVs and PHEVs.
#307 of 330 Re: PHEV fire [tpe]
Jun 27, 2008 (12:35 pm)
Here is the mention of A123. Part of the original post by Larsb.
Boulder, Colo.-based Hybrids Plus has advised all of its conversion owners to stop driving the vehicles until further information is available. According to the press release, forensic examinations have not been able to conclusively identify the cause of the fire, but established that the battery cells – which, according to plug-in advocacy group CalCars.org came from A123Systems – were not the reason.
I tried to find info from the owner of the Prius just what kind of mileage they were getting. They did not mention it on their website. They have a total of 7 of these hybrid conversions from Hybrids Plus in Colorado.
#308 of 330 Re: PHEV fire [gagrice]
Jul 01, 2008 (7:29 pm)
Here is a mileage log for a PHEV Prius from Greenhybrid.
I think it is an honest log. As you can see mpg varies from
171 to 74. The former is for exclusively short trip city driving
under 40 mph where the battery range sufficed for most
days. The later is for mostly highway driving at
60-65 mph. This is as expected. Most people will get
in the 90-100 mpg range.
#309 of 330 Re: PHEV fire [igh]
Jul 02, 2008 (5:15 am)
That's a little misleading because they don't take into account the electricity that was used to charge the battery pack. Theoretically one of these PHEV owners could make nothing but short trips, never use any gas, and claim infinite mileage. I'm pretty sure the EPA will assign some value to how many kWh of electricity the average driver will use when they determine the mpg rating of PHEVs.
#310 of 330 Re: PHEV fire [igh]
Jul 02, 2008 (5:21 am)
The package that BluePHEV has installed in his 2007 Prius is the PHEV-40. I would imagine that cost him close to $40,000 installed. So he now has a $70k Prius that has to handle like a pig with all that additional weight. He has no Toyota warranty and may save a few $1000 over the life of the vehicle. Strictly for the wealthy techno-geek with money to burn. I can think of a lot of vehicles I would rather have for $70k.
#311 of 330 Re: PHEV fire [gagrice]
Jul 02, 2008 (1:17 pm)
The PHEV-20 L5 kit from Hymotion is 10K now. The PHEV-40 kit should
be 20K now. The economics are getting better with better battery tech,
higher volume and higher gas prices but it is still not there yet.
It is impossible to get infinte mpg from a Prius as the ICE will always switch
on from a cold start to warm the CAT converter. I calculated that this
operation burns .05 gals each time.
So for my daily commute of 10 miles each way on city streets I will burn
.1 gals. That gives me 200 mpg (without considering the charge)
and yearly use of about 6000 miles. It will save me 90 gals of gas per year
or $450 even at $5/gal.
It will cost 35 cents to charge overnight at 9c/kwh. So that will cost
about $100 per year. So early savings is max $350 and it leads to
breakeven of > 25 years. So it is still not viable from a economic point
of view - but maybe green point of view. I am hopeful it will be much better
once Toyota or Chevy atually starts selling these or if the Saudis
decide to really take us for a ride.
Not too concerned about handling at < 40 mph on cty streets. Hymotion have crash tested for safety.
#312 of 330 Re: PHEV fire [igh]
Jul 02, 2008 (5:35 pm)
I was thinking of Hybrid Plus in Colorado. They were charging about $24k for the entry level and $32k for the long range PHEV kit. I am not familiar with Hymotion. They are not yet selling their product. They are taking deposits for delivery starting in December. Hybrid Plus was selling theirs until one caught on fire. They have recommended they should all be parked until they can assess the problem. Both use the A123 Li-Ion battery.
#313 of 330 As reported on Cnet
Jul 30, 2008 (12:42 pm)
Luscious Garage in SanFran
Luscious Garage is offering to perform plug-in hybrid conversions with equipment from Plug-In Supply.
Petaluma, Calif.-based Plug-In Supply. announced last week at the Plug-In 2008 conference that it will sell $5,000 conversion systems with lead-acid batteries, enabling a Prius to achieve the equivalent of 100 miles per gallon and drive 20 miles on a full charge. Kits with lithium-ion batteries cost $11,000.
A conversion for $5K that gives 20 miles !! That's a great price !!!