Plug-in Conversion – things to consider

I’m considering a plug-in conversion for the Prius. The factory PiP (Plug-in Prius) is not sold in Australia but conversions by NilCO2 and others have been around for several years. A few thoughts come to mind:

  1. What size of pack should I get?
  2. Should it supplement or replace the HV battery? (Related to size)
  3. How much can I afford?
  4. Does that mean I’ll have to plug the EBH at the front and the battery at the rear?

An engine block heater is a perfect option for a PiP (Plug-in Prius). A warm engine does not need to start at all! Drive on battery without needing to run the engine to heat it.
However, if my DEFA socket is at the front and the plug-in socket is at the rear, which way do I park the car?
Here are my thoughts…

  1. Since the car needs 2 cables, move the DEFA socket closer to the Toyota socket, perhaps to the rear bumper. That would make plugging and unplugging a little more convenient
  2. Following on from 1., add a MultiCharger to the DEFA EBH. Since the 12V battery is in the rear the cable has to run the rear anyway, moving the DEFA socket to the rear bumper makes sense.
  3. If it were a factory Toyota PiP then DEFA could make a special cable that would interface with the Toyota PiP socket. (The PiP socket looks like another fuel cap on the opposite side.). So one cable could power both.
  4. For a retro-fit PiP, the DEFA cable could be connected to the same socket on the rear bumper

A few issues!

  • Do I want the EBH + HV battery charging on at the same time? So I’ll have to add the SmartStart timer or I’ll be warming the engine all night.
  • Will there be enough space in the sills to carry the DEFA cable to the back? There’s a lot of cable in there already. More research needed.

I’m sure that DEFA would love to have an integrated solution to work with the PiP. (Bjørn, are you still reading my blog?)


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