We’ll start with the numbers: $1,995 will get you a 2 kWh plug-in battery pack for your second-generation Toyota Prius; $2,995 will get you a 4 kWh pack (the installation feel and the $95 delivery charge are extra). For your two or three grand, you can reach “the holy grail of achieving 100 mpg.”
These are the promises of Enginer, a collaborative venture between Automation Tech Inc. from the U.S. and the Australian-Chinese-owned company Worldlink-China Co. Ltd., in a new press release. If true, then Enginer has a serious competitor to the Hymotion Prius PHEV conversion kit (which costs around $9,999 for a 5 kWh pack). We’re not ready to sign up for one of these Enginer packs quite yet, though, even if they are participating in the Automotive X Prize. We’d like to see more numbers, something a little more detailed than Automation Tech’s president Jack Chen saying, “With this system, we can improve the Prius’ fuel efficiency by 40-100%.” We like the idea of a cheaper hybrid conversion kit, especially one that the company says could be used in other vehicles like the Ford Escape, but we’ve heard all sorts of big promises before.
We’re also skeptical of this line in the Enginer press release (read the whole thing after the jump):
If the Enginer system is installed in a new vehicle at a dealer, it will also qualify for the tax credit under the recently passed Recovery Act. The credit that applies gives the purchaser a $2500 tax credit from the federal government.
Last time we looked, the government wasn’t big into promoting plug-in conversions. We’re not sure where this $2,500 number comes from.
Enginer claims to have $2,000, 2kWh plug-in Prius conversion kit ready originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Tue, 11 Aug 2009 09:03:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.