“After five years of research, students at the University of Middle Tennessee have installed a full plug-in hybrid kit in a stock 1994 Honda Accord. The setup gives between 50 and 100 percent better gas mileage with two electric motors delivering power directly to the rear wheels, leaving the engine-powered front wheels to work with little effort. The price of all the parts comes to about $3,000 and can be applied to almost any car.”—Turn Your Car Into a Plug-In Hybrid for $3,000 | Autopia | Wired.com
"Chevrolet Volt versus Nissan LEAF"
What Kelly Blue Book has to say:
The largest and highest-profile de facto rival to the 2011 Chevrolet Volt is the equally new 2011 Nissan LEAF, which also will commence its own market-specific rollout by year’s end. Each vehicle offers an interesting, innovative and extremely sophisticated take on green motoring, but there are two key differences to consider. First and foremost, the Nissan LEAF is a pure electric vehicle, which limits its potential as a primary daily transport choice to people with predictable and moderate usage requirements. While Nissan estimates the LEAF’s per-charge range at a nominal 100 miles, it also admits that individual driving styles and ambient temperature conditions can have a fairly large (up to 40 percent in extreme cases) impact on that figure. Although even GM cites government data indicating that over 75 percent of all daily commutes fall within a 40-mile round-trip distance, the LEAF’s inherent limitations to deal with unexpected changes in travel plans does make range anxiety a legitimate issue for some individuals.
The second significant variation between the Volt and the LEAF lies in price; but here, it’s Nissan’s turn to claim at least some bragging rights. Where the Volt bases at $41,000, the LEAF opens at $33,600 and the upline SL version starts at $34,540. Although both vehicles qualify for the Federal income tax credit, only the Nissan will be eligible for the cash rebates being offered by the state of California. Two other lesser points of differentiation: the Nissan LEAF offers room for five and comes with six standard airbags while the Chevy Volt seats only four but does feature eight inflatable restraints.