Electric Vehicle conversion company Envia announced that it’s REV-H Plug-in FORD F150 Hybrid conversion offers fleet customers up to 48 miles per gallon, while reducing carbon emissions by 63%.
The concept of a Plug-in Hybrid has become very popular in the last year. Plug-in Hybrid cars take power off the electric-grid at night when demand is low and use it to charge a large battery. The cars can then operate as pure Electric Vehicles at lower speeds, which dramatically reduces gas consumption and carbon emissions. This is ideal for many of the 30 million fleet vehicles in North America, which operate over shorter distances in cities.
“Fleet Managers in B.C. are very interested in this product," states Ken Zutz, Commercial Sales Manager of Metro Ford, One of the largest Ford Fleet Sales Dealers in BC. "With the concerns over fuel costs and the regulatory environment, demand is very high for these trucks. My customers want to know when they can get their hands on these in significant quantities.”
While Plug-in Hybrid versions of the Saturn Vue and the Toyota Prius will be available by 2010, the small batteries in these vehicles will limit the all-electric range and therefore have less impact on gas mileage and emissions. By contrast, Envia’s REV-H Plug-in Hybrid FORD F150 offers 20 kilowatt-hours of battery power for an all-electric range of 38 miles or more. The conversion costs $15,000 to $25,000 depending on range, which fleet managers can justify over 5 years with the reduced fuel and maintenance costs.
“Many people think the big auto makers will flatten Envia when they finally launch their plug-in hybrids. What they fail to see is that the large automakers only think about new cars. They pay no attention to the 275 million cars on the road in North America, many of which are viable for conversion,” states Jay Giraud, Founder and President of Envia. “When you look at what it will take to put one million converted plug-in hybrids on the road, the logistics, production and supply issues are all very manageable. All that is missing is the economic incentive and current price of gas just gave us that.”
The REV-H Plug-in hybrid conversion uses a proprietary technology that minimizes modifications to the existing vehicle. It is a series hybrid, which allows the vehicle to operate in electric only, gas only or combined power modes. It also features regenerative braking, which turns the car’s momentum back into electricity, while slowing the car down. During the month of October, Envia’s PlugInYourTruck.com tour will showcase this technology from coast-to-coast.
Felix Kramer, founder of CalCars.org, a plug-in advocacy organization, says, "The challenge is how to get millions of plug-in cars on the road ASAP. Along with new vehicles from the world's car makers, plug-in conversions of large gas-guzzlers in fleets makes sense. That's a great way to quickly reduce both dependence on foreign oil and greenhouse gases - and a major business opportunity.