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Ever since battery maker A123 Systems bought plug-in hybrid converter company Hymotion last year, everyone’s been waiting for the time when consumers would be able to get their hands on the conversion kits. This weekend A123 Systems emailed us to let us know that they have officially launched their consumer plug-in product for converting a Prius.
It’s called the A123Systems Hymotion L5 Plug-in Conversion Module and costs a good $10,000, plus taxes and additional fees. Consumers can now put down a deposit of $1,000 to reserve the product, though the company won’t start selling and installing them until July at approved dealerships in cities, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Boston, and Minneapolis.
Why is converting your Prius into a plug-in worth your hard-earned $10,000? Well, the module adds electric capacity to the Prius, enabling you to drive in electric mode for longer, cutting down on gas-usage and carbon emissions. A123 Systems says that converted Prius’ can get over 100 mpg for 30 to 40 miles.
The price tag is pretty high, so expect to see the first customers be the really eager early-adopters that are willing to drop that type of cash. But we’re excited that this is finally here and our own city of San Francisco is getting approved dealers. The company’s website also has some nice community features for plug-in vehicle owners to map their location; check it out, one of first to map themselves is actor Rob Lowe, of Santa Barbara, California.