Valence Technology has collaborated with plug-in hybrid conversion company EnergyCS to deliver green, fuel-efficient electric vehicles to the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD). AQMD, Southern California’s air pollution agency, is testing the Valence U-Charge-powered plug-ins to increase awareness of the environmental and performance benefits of plug-in technology.
AQMD’s pre-commercial plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, or PHEV, is based on a technology demonstrator kit designed for the 2004-2007 model years of the Toyota Prius. The vehicle is outfitted with Valence Li-ion rechargeable batteries and custom monitoring and control electronics designed by EnergyCS, to increase zero emissions miles and double the Prius’ fuel economy.
Valence’s Saphion Li-ion battery pack, with approximately 9 kWh of energy storage, will replace the Prius’ original NiMH battery, thereby extending the usable energy storage by over 18 times. AQMD currently has two of these vehicles.
AQMD has invested eight years in the research and evaluation of plug-in technology and is working with the state to support the Plug-in California Initiative sponsored by AQMD Board Member and Riverside Mayor Ron Loveridge. This program is looking to provide buyer and supplier incentives to further the adoption of plug-in technology.
Specific tests include evaluation of the battery performance and life, maintenance and expansion of the EV mode, fuel economy compared to a conventional HEV and driver experience. Once fully tested, the demonstration phase will apply the PHEV technology to other test vehicles to ensure the emissions are maintained at super-ultra-low emission vehicle (SULEV) levels.