Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Service Will Convert Light Trucks To Plug-In Hybrids
TOKYO (Nikkei)--Automobile maintenance firm Joto Garage Co. will soon launch a service that converts gasoline-powered light trucks into plug-in hybrid vehicles.
- Now it's a plug-in hybrid.
Externally procured 4.4kwh lithium ion batteries and 5.2kw electric motors will be installed under the customers' trucks. Joto will convert any model of any make as long as the vehicle has an engine in the front and a manual transmission.
A converted truck will travel about 40km on the electric motor alone, switching to the gasoline engine when the battery is depleted. It will be chargeable from a household outlet.
This will greatly reduce the frequency of visits to gas stations, saving fuel and improving convenience. The service will be marketed to businesses operating in rural regions where gas stations are scarce.
Such details as pricing have yet to be disclosed, but the service is expected to cost around 1.5 million yen, including parts and installation. Joto will offer it in the Tokyo area with the aim of attracting several dozen orders the first year.
(The Nikkei Business Daily, March 6 edition)