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Plug-In Hybrids

Monday, April 26, 2010

To NOVA viewers, about our plug-in services

imageNOVA’s “Big Energy Gamble” is now in reruns, which features LG performing plug-in conversions (end of Chapter 5, beginning of Chapter 6).  It’s a flattering segment which has inspired many viewers to convert their cars. 

Some necessary clarification:

Besides conventional repair services on hybrid cars (99% of our business) Luscious Garage currently provides plug-in conversions ONLY for the Toyota Prius, model years 2004-2009, and ONLY the system from Plug-In Conversions Corporation.  We no longer offer the system in the footage (circa April 2008).

If you would like to schedule a conversion, the first step is a down payment of $12,000 (our cost for the kit).  Lead time is 3 weeks for system delivery.  Once we receive the down payment we can place the order to the manufacturer (Plug-In Conversions Corporation), get a firm ETA on the system, and schedule the conversion.

For more information, check out the following blog:



I do look forward to converting the 2010 Prius sometime in the future.  If you want to voice your own interest in such a system, I suggest contacting our supplier directly: 


If you are interested in converting another car (anything but the second generation Prius), the best first step is to find your local chapter of the Electric Auto Association and attend a meeting.  Ground up EV conversions are serious technical and financial endeavors beyond the scope of Luscious Garage.

Thanks to all for their kind words and enthusiasm.

Carolyn's avatarPosted by Carolyn Permalink Categories: Plug-In Hybrids »

Friday, June 26, 2009

Gold Peak Battery

The core of LG’s plug-in conversions, supplied by Plug-In Conversions Corp (PICC), is a 6.1kWh battery pack, comprised of 168 nickel metal hydride (NiMH) cells from Gold Peak Battery (GP). A global battery manufacturer headquartered in Hong Kong,  imageGP has been in business for 45 years and has produced high capacity rechargeable NiMH cells for two decades. 

Last year GP purchased a minority interest in PICC and is therefore invested in seeing the Prius plug-in conversions succeed.  This brings major manufacturing and business resources to bear in producing the best plug-in conversion system currently available and demonstrates GPs commitment to automotive applications. (Pic: GP batteries in LG’s conversion kit)

GP is hardly new to EVs: they already supply the batteries for the Vetrix scooter, other electric-assisted pedal bikes, and previously supplied energy storage devices for small run OEM products developed during the original ZEV mandate. imageBeyond cars, they are the largest producer of rechargeable NiMH batteries outside of Japan. (Pic: Production lab in Hong Kong; note Vectrix scooter on right)

Indeed because they have been producing NiMH for so long, they were early to apply for a license to the original Ovonics patent on the chemistry, and their license specifically includes 4-wheeled vehicle applications.  Legal missteps by other companies (including Panasonic and Toyota), and ownership of Ovonics by Cobasys (joint venture with Chevron) and the patent along with it, have otherwise stymied use of NiMH, giving Gold Peak the advantage. 

(Patent encumbrance for 4-wheel applications is the main reason why NiMH has not seen widespread use in cars, not because the chemistry is inadequate, which in turn has delayed EV applications. It is also a driving force behind the development of lithium-ion batteries to which the patent does not apply.)

Link to Gold Peak Batteries
Link to Gold Peak International
Link to Gold Peak North America
Link to EVB - GP subsidiary that supplies the NiMH cells (GP30EVH) for the Prius Conversion
Read more on LG’s Plug-In Conversions
(Pic: Carolyn at EVB lab, Gold Peak Building, Hong Kong, May 2009)


Carolyn's avatarPosted by Carolyn Permalink Categories: Plug-In Hybrids »

Friday, June 12, 2009

PICC Certified Prius Plug-In Installer

imageAvailable now!  Plug-in Prius upgrades from Plug-In Conversions Corporation (PICC), the true “third generation” Prius! 

Best performance to date of any plug-in conversion platform, backed by Luscious Garage, full service hybrid specialists with the most plug-in Prius experience.

We have the technical expertise, professionalism, and personal attention to make your conversion a legitimate and rewarding experience.

Conversion specs:

Fits: Toyota Prius, model years 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
Battery: 6.1 kWh Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH), 203V nominal
All-Electric Range: 25 miles
Top EV Speed: 70 mph
Charge Input: 120V (240V optional)
Charge Time, 120V: 6 hours
Fast Charge, 240V: 2 hours
Installation time: 2 days
Cost: $13,500

Fast Charge option: $1000

Test drives available now!  Email Carolyn for more information or appointments

Luscious Garage PICC conversions to date: 7

Omaha Public Power District
Luscious Shop Car (pictured)
Gold Peak Battery
China Light and Power
Hong Kong Electric
Ron Gremban, CalCars
Private Owner, Santa Cruz, CA

(blog on Hong Kong conversions to follow)

Read more from Green Car Congress…
Read more from EV World…
Read more about Plug-In Conversions Corp
Read more about Gold Peak Battery

Kim Adelman, CEO of PICC, with his company car, Poway, CA:

PICC Battery Box with lid removed, Gold Peak modules, 168 Total, which they’ve innovated for over 20 years

LG Shop Car with factory battery removed (PICC system replaces factory battery, which we then use to build replacement packs for earlier model Prius):

Final product installed, very clean, safe installation

No loss of cargo space or change to interior panels:

Carolyn's avatarPosted by Carolyn Permalink Categories: Modifications » Plug-In Hybrids »

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Carolyn converts Prius for Omaha Public Power

imageLuscious Garage is proud to offer a new conversion kit from Plug-In Conversions starting May 2009.  Having assisted Kim with the development of this kit for over a year now, I was understandably thrilled to participate in the first install earlier this week in Omaha, NE.  Performed for Omaha Public Power District (pic of Carolyn with OPPD techs Brandon and Dan), the kit will provide 25 miles “electric first” range with OE system architecture (expanding the original battery capacity, rather than “piggy-backing” on top).  The system installs for $12,500 and is expected for CARB certification with a 10 year warranty.  The PIC system will vastly outperform others currently available.

Read a report on the conversion from EV World (via evworld.com)

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) to get on the waiting list for a conversion or a test drive

More information on specs is definitely forthcoming, along with pictures and data once the shop Prius is converted (mid-April).

Carolyn's avatarPosted by Carolyn Permalink Categories: Plug-In Hybrids » Staff »

Monday, November 10, 2008

Al Gore is Luscious

imageIn The Climate for Change, the Op/Ed centerpiece of yesterday’s New York Times, Al Gore posits the recent election as a springboard for another “fateful choice”: how to save the human race from global warming.  Reminiscent of the call from Thomas Friedman in The Power of Green, Gore suggests that a “green” economy means to solve both the climate crisis and the economic crisis.  As the cornerstone of such an economy, he proposes a plan “to repower America with a commitment to producing 100 percent of our electricity from carbon-free sources within 10 years.”

The plan consists of five parts.  One of them? Plug-in hybridsimage

Gore writes, “We should help America’s automobile industry (not only the Big Three but the innovative new startup companies as well) to convert quickly to plug-in hybrids that can run on the renewable electricity that will be available as the rest of this plan matures.” 

Innovative new startups?  While he certainly means OEMs like Aptera and Tesla, aftermarket PHEV conversions are equally known, more established, and available now.  I couldn’t help but think Mr. Gore caught a glimpse of the article on Luscious Garage printed in the Times only four days earlier. 

“Luscious is a secular temple built to serve hybrids… But [LG’s] forte is converting them to plug-in hybrids, which are functionally all-electric cars that can go 12 to 15 miles… (If you go farther, the gasoline motor kicks back in.)”

For more on plug-in hybrids and why they make so much sense, check out the wiki

For more information on LG conversions, check out the blog


Carolyn's avatarPosted by Carolyn Permalink Categories: Plug-In Hybrids »

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