Prius Plug-In Conversion Goes Boom

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
prius plug in conversion goes boom

If you can't wait for Toyota to launch a plug-in electric hybrid vehicle (PHEV) Prius, there are several companies who will convert your hybrid to a PHEV. Sure they may set you back $10k on top of your Prius purchase, but being the first one on the block with a plug-in is priceless, right? First, consider what might happen to your carbon footprint if your PHEV suddenly catches fire. CRN reports (via DailyTech) that a Prius outfitted with a Hybrids-Plus PHEV15 conversion kit caught fire and exploded last week during routine highway driving. The late Prius, part of a test fleet operated by the Central Electric Power Cooperative of South Carolina, and had been experiencing charger-related malfunctions. Because the A123-sourced lithium-ion battery was "largely intact and functioning" post-kaboom, the cause of the fire is listed as "unknown." A specialized EV forensic team (yup, they exist) is investigating. Pending their findings, those who have criticized the OEM's tentative approach to li-ion technology might want to take the opportunity to eat a little crow. And those OEM's who are banking on a rushed li-ion release (cough, GM, cough) might want to take this as a sign to run one or two extra tests. Just sayin. (Hat tip to Jalopnik)

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4 of 13 comments
  • Rtz Rtz on Jun 20, 2008

    Industrial Espionage?

  • Jeff Puthuff Jeff Puthuff on Jun 20, 2008

    @ ghillie : Was your father John Candy?

  • Ghillie Ghillie on Jun 20, 2008
    * factotum : June 20th, 2008 at 9:11 pm @ ghillie : Was your father John Candy? Umm - no. I assume you're making a reference to something that happened in a film. But I'm not familiar with it. Oddly, though - my father looked not entirely unlike John Candy and they are both dead. My dad died more than ten years ago from lung cancer. He was a smoker for most of his life and the cigarettes got him in the end. Given my father's habit of rather casually flicking lighted cigarettes out the open window of whichever car he was driving at the time, I'm only surprised that the "burning back seat incident" didn't happend more often. I'm sure it has happened to many others also - so it's not unexpected that it's an event that might have been depicted in a film.
  • Nudave Nudave on Jun 21, 2008

    This is just another reason why you shouldn't contaminate your Japanese vehicle with domestic content.