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Old 05-30-2012, 07:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Phev

OK. I've been on here for a few months and have had great success with my new car. I've been averaging most tanks above 55 for quite some time and keep discovering small tricks and different portions of my route to really crank up the mpg. I want to get a PHEV but cannot afford one right now. Does anyone know 1. which PHEV kit is the best value/cost ration or 2. can I buy a used one or find a salvaged car with a PHEV to place into mine? Just trying to save some money to buy a PHEV without buying some off the wall cheap one.
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Old 05-30-2012, 08:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The really is only one PHEV option for Insights. Brand new it would be about $4,000.

I have not seen many used ones come up for sale.

I know of a used 4kwh system for sale right now for and would cost ~$2,000 with shipping. Although it is not currently set up for an Insight I'm sure it could be tweaked for your set up.

If you are interested, give me a call and we can talk about it. 608-729-4082.
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Old 05-30-2012, 09:08 PM   #3 (permalink)
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If you can supply batteries, 4 deep cycle batteries from wally world and 4 trickle chargers, that half the battle right there. Thats assuming you can plug in. For 300 bucks you got the batteries and charger covered and misc wires. For less than a thousand you can get the guts of the phev kit from Enginer.

I doubt you will see a salvage unit as thats the first thing people do in an accident. If I wreck my car thats the first thing I am grabbing and even if I do not go with another Insight, I can get a converter for a prius, Civic or an older Insight.

Even if not another hybrid, I would have a commercial grade lifepo4 battery power pack for a future ev or back up power supply.


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Old 05-30-2012, 09:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default explanation...help

Okay sorry to be out of the loop on this but what is this you are talking about PHEV? I have seen this other places but thought it was just in the car?
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Old 05-30-2012, 10:03 PM   #5 (permalink)
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PHEV. Plug in Hybrid Electric Vehicle.

It makes it so that you can plug your car into the wall to charge up the battery.
In most cases you add additional batteries that you charge up.

Got 100 mpg with my PHEV system in a Gen1 today.
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Old 05-30-2012, 10:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Eric beat me to it. I think he sells the kits if I remember correctly?

With hybrids the additional charge makes the car more likely to use electric power vs gas to make it move. With this additional power you can abuse ev mode. Rather the car has a switch, a easter egg or a hack like mima. The prius 2 kit from Enginer includes the ev switch thats standard on prius cars shipped outside the US if I am not mistaken.


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Old 05-30-2012, 10:22 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Now I remember talking about that, I will have to look into that for the next mod! I'll have to hook up the MIMA that is on its way in the mail first!!! I did try to plug in a cord to my gas tank but nothing filled up go figure! So what is the talk about adding some deep cycle batteries for an additional help!
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Old 05-31-2012, 08:44 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Its essentially just adding your own battery pack to the car. The deep cycle batteries are great for long lasting charge and multiple charges. They don't die after X amount of charges in comparrison with typical lead acid or LI batteries if I understand correctly. I'm still new to this and most of the PHEV systems are out of my reach. To get government rebates you need at least a 4KWh pack to be considered EV car stuff. And the 2KWh from enginer is really the only one close to my price range. So I'm looking at building my own, but I am not quite so good with this stuff yet. Trying to find someone in NC or the surrounding area thats within a few hours to drive, see how its set up and try and buy the components one at a time. Right now though its just tough with time and money. And maybe someone can correct me if I'm wrong but I have read where gold cart batteries and trolling motor batteries from boats are great for DIY PHEV's.

Or perhaps buying a salvaged insight and taking the batteries and regenerative system and linking it in series with mine? Just playing with ideas.
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Old 06-05-2012, 08:55 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Ok. So I am able to now manage about 58 to 60 MPG each tank. Can't complain. Still working on building/buying a phev. But as a cheaper and quick fix, how much does an engine block warmer help. My car seems to warm up fast (about 1 to 2 miles from home depending on morning temp) but would a block heater help that much to instantly send it to hybrid mode? And how long do they really need to be plugged in to warm up the motor? I have already taken alot of little cheap steps to improve my mileage and it is working. But I'm just trying to make all the small adjustments first.
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Old 06-06-2012, 02:43 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I am unable to travel as my mother who I live with and help recently fell and broke her arm. You are more than welcome to come by and test drive my car. I am off 288 and Hull Street. Here is an address to google and or meet at.

Barnes Noble
4600 Commonwealth Center Parkway, Midlothian, va

Myself and a few others have tried the oem block heater which is rated at 400 watts and we could not measure any mpg improvements. I suspect either our trips were too long or the heater was too low. It takes a good 8 hours to bring the car close to operating temp. The most efficient use was 2 hours of plugging in for the amount of heat it provides.

I guess you could try an aftermarket one from Amazon that is rated at a thousand or 1500 watts by Katz.

Did you get a solar charger for your 12 volt battery? I have a 100 watt panels we might could trade as I think you said you had some with an internal inverter. I have a few 12 volt ones hooked to a grid tie inverter to supplement our electrical needs. Just need a charge controller. A harbor freight store is 7 miles down the road from me.

Better yet, if you can plug in get a battery trickle charger.

No luck on an extra battery pack or my grid charger/balancer. Maybe someone jacked it one day?

If you can ride ev mode and it just runs down too fast then you should easily hit 100 mpg with a phev kit.


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