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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Folk's,

I saw another ad for the "Enginer" plug-in conversion kit for Honda Insights and the Prius. I have a 2000 Insight and 2010 Prius and was thinking of buying the kit if it is reliable and has a good track record. (Also don't want to loose the spare tire.) Has anyone had experience with this kit and how it spoofs the vehicle computer to allow the battery to discharge? It looks like a 5kwhr pack would add 100lbs to the vehicle & curioous if that reduces MPG. At first I thought Enginer was mis-spelled and that it was a chinese knock-off or hymotion conversion kit but the $2.5k price is tempting (if it's reliable & works long term).

Best regards,
mark
www.reevadiy.org
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Mark

Give me a call. I have installed a bunch of these. We should talk.

9736709208. Doug
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Hanson <[email protected]>
Sender: [email protected]
Date: Thu, 4 Nov 2010 10:48:25
To: <[email protected]>
Reply-To: Electric Vehicle Discussion List <[email protected]>
Subject: [EVDL] Enginer Plug-In Kit Reliability


Hi Folk's,

I saw another ad for the "Enginer" plug-in conversion kit for Honda Insights and the Prius. I have a 2000 Insight and 2010 Prius and was thinking of buying the kit if it is reliable and has a good track record. (Also don't want to loose the spare tire.) Has anyone had experience with this kit and how it spoofs the vehicle computer to allow the battery to discharge? It looks like a 5kwhr pack would add 100lbs to the vehicle & curioous if that reduces MPG. At first I thought Enginer was mis-spelled and that it was a chinese knock-off or hymotion conversion kit but the $2.5k price is tempting (if it's reliable & works long term).

Best regards,
mark
www.reevadiy.org
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Best to check on the PriusChat.com boards. That's one of the best spots
on the 'net for Prius and hybrid questions/hackers. As a long-time
lover of the sustain/maintainability of Toyotas, I too have been looking
at this as a Poor-Man's Chevy Volt for our '07 Prius (the majority of
our local mileage is at in-town speeds of 35mph or less, with short
trips of 5-10 miles). The Enginer kit has the significant advantage of
being able to charge on 120V/15A -- the ubiquitous 3-prong outlet. It's
the wife's car though...

One of the problems we have is that you can get to one side to the other
"the long way" of our ~100k people (Champaign-Urbana, IL -- home to the
University of Illinois) in about 20-25 minutes. During rush hour! Most
trips are 15 minutes or under to arrive at your destination. This means
that it's actually TOO small, too short a drive for the Prius to hit
it's stride (engine warms up and you're there already). So the EV mode
on the Enginer looks *very* alluring!

The question is how to market/game it/sell it such that the wife would
alter her driving. She's surprised me before, but it really depends on
how I ask/spin it. Honey, vinegar, flies type stuff. She has told me
in the past if we had a second Twike she would be willing to drive it...

Enginer was an X PRIZE competitor (didn't get to know them though :-(
And they also are/were a sponsor of Eric's Green Drive Expo (formerly
HybridFest), so they're fairly "for real". Caveat Emptor definitely
applies as with all things EV...

I've read a bit on the PriusChat forums, but haven't quite been ready to
pull the trigger on it though... neither has my good friend who also has
an '07 and worked with the CalCar's team. It's getting VERY tempting
though...

[email protected]

-----Original Message-----
From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]] On
Behalf Of Mark Hanson
Sent: Thursday, November 04, 2010 9:48 AM
To: [email protected]
Subject: [EVDL] Enginer Plug-In Kit Reliability


Hi Folk's,

I saw another ad for the "Enginer" plug-in conversion kit for Honda
Insights and the Prius. I have a 2000 Insight and 2010 Prius and was
thinking of buying the kit if it is reliable and has a good track
record. (Also don't want to loose the spare tire.) Has anyone had
experience with this kit and how it spoofs the vehicle computer to allow
the battery to discharge? It looks like a 5kwhr pack would add 100lbs
to the vehicle & curioous if that reduces MPG. At first I thought
Enginer was mis-spelled and that it was a chinese knock-off or hymotion
conversion kit but the $2.5k price is tempting (if it's reliable & works
long term).

Best regards,
mark
www.reevadiy.org
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Just a total wild guess on my part: Is it possible they Round-Robin charge
subsets of the Prius pack, 48V at a time? That would require just five or so
contactors capable of just 100A.




________________________________
From: Bill Dube <[email protected]>
To: [email protected]; Electric Vehicle Discussion List
<[email protected]>
Sent: Thu, November 4, 2010 9:32:52 AM
Subject: Re: [EVDL] Enginer Plug-In Kit Reliability

I am only taking a few wild guesses. Anyone that actually knows anything, please
correct me.

I noticed that the PHEV kit battery pack was just 48 volts. This suggests that
they are doing a DC-DC boost to the Prius system voltage of ~200 volts. The
wattage of this boost converter sets the peak continuous HP, but it also is
likely to have a significant influence on the price of the kit. Considering the
low price, the boost converter could not be very powerful.

I would guess that a Pruis would need about 5 kW to maintain 45 MPH, so that
would be about the size of DC-DC boost converter you should have, ideally.
However, that would cost about as much as the whole kit.

Either they have figured out how to make the correct size DC-DC boost converter
really cheaply, or they opted for one much smaller. Does anyone know any
details?



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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Mark:

I'm with the Toronto Hybrid Group, Canada, and we have installed almost
a dozen of these kits into various Prius' over the past year. Overall,
they're a decent design and work acceptably well. Are they equivalent to
a $10,000 Hymotion pack? Absolutely NOT. You can't expect to get a
$10,000 pack for something like $2500.

However, we've worked with the designer, Jack Chen, in Troy, Mi and he
listens to our feedback and has improved the design of the pack over the
past year. So, be careful reading comments on PriusChat. If the comments
are over a month old, seriously consider disregarding them. They're
probably about an antiquated design.

The pack started out with a 3 kW DC/DC Converter which proved inadequate
for many installations. The new 5 kW converter is a reasonable
compromise even though it is less than the 15 kW converter of the
Hymotion pack. (At 200 nominal volts, 25A isn't going to win the Indy
but it's design concept is to "assist" ... and that it does.)

The other design flaw was the balancers. Originally, they were
off-the-shelf balancers that just didn't cut it and were making it look
like the cells were defective (and possibly causing some cells to die).
Jack designed his own balancers and is now making them available
retroactively to all existing kits. They are much improved and now cells
are performing much better.

Yes, we did find the original design to be frustrating and problematic
but the current design appears to be well worth the price saving from
the Hymotion $10,000 ... as long as you don't expect it to be the same
as a $10,000 Hymotion Kit.

Talk to Eric Powers of Green Drive Expo about this Enginer in a Honda
Insight. His appears to be working quite nicely.

BTW, I'd suggest the 6 kWh Kit as a reasonable compromise size for
typical Prius driving.

Enjoy PHEV'ing ... it's the best compromise, today ...

~ Erik Haltrecht
. KlnAir4U
. www.evalbum.com/3497


-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [EVDL] Enginer Plug-In Kit Reliability
From: Mark Hanson <[email protected]>
Date: Thu, November 04, 2010 10:48 am
To: <[email protected]>


Hi Folk's,

I saw another ad for the "Enginer" plug-in conversion kit for Honda
Insights and the Prius. I have a 2000 Insight and 2010 Prius and was
thinking of buying the kit if it is reliable and has a good track
record. (Also don't want to loose the spare tire.) Has anyone had
experience with this kit and how it spoofs the vehicle computer to allow
the battery to discharge? It looks like a 5kwhr pack would add 100lbs to
the vehicle & curioous if that reduces MPG. At first I thought Enginer
was mis-spelled and that it was a chinese knock-off or hymotion
conversion kit but the $2.5k price is tempting (if it's reliable & works
long term).

Best regards,
mark
www.reevadiy.org
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