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New York State Evaluating PHEV Technology

The New York State Energy and Research Development Authority has awarded A123Systems, a developer of nanophosphate-based batteries, and Hymotion contracts to provide three converted plug-in hybrid electric passenger vehicles.  NYSERDA wants to identify a PHEV-conversion method for its 400-plus New York State-owned hybrid electric vehicles – primarily late-model Toyota Prius, Honda Civic and Ford Escape HEVs.

“NYSERDA’s objective is to evaluate PHEV technology in our most common hybrid vehicles and to promote its adoption by the State’s hybrid fleet,” said Peter Smith, NYSERDA President and CEO. “Eventually, with economies of scale, we hope plug-in conversion companies can offer this service to the general public.”

A123Systems has delivered the first PHEV conversion, a Toyota Prius, to NYSERDA for approval and testing.

The Prius uses nanophosphate technology which, unlike competitive lithium-ion offerings, has no thermal run-away problems, according to A123Systems. The Prius is expected to get up to 220 miles per gallon and cut carbon dioxide emissions in half.

A123Systems says that it incorporates batteries into a PHEV module that requires minimal modification to the stock vehicle. All necessary components and safety features are integrated and contained within the module, including batteries, power electronics, charger, battery management system, safety sensors and manual-electric interlock. Due to its plug and play installation, the system does not require removal of the OEM battery pack.

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