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For a few years, I owned a Prius.  God, I loved that car.  But it got creamed twice, and I couldn't get a wire crate large enough for my dog into it.  I traded it in for a used RAV4, so I'd have the dogmobile I really need.  

But damn, I miss the gas mileage of the Prius.  And I can't afford the new hybrid RAV4.  I figure I'm stuck with stinky gas mileage.

Or am I???

h/t Susie Madrak at Crooks and Liars.

Two separate develops have recently announced their new, upcoming hybrid retrofit kit releases.  Both kits are under $10,000.  Yeah, that's still a lot of dough, but have you guys priced brand-new hybrids?  Ouch.  

The upshot is that these are aftermarket add-ons.  But what about my warranty? you wail.  Well:

The kit features an electric motor, lithium ion battery pack, and control software to vehicles. XL’s target price is under US$8,000 fully installed. Aftermarket installers make the conversion, and it does not void commercial vehicle warrantees, said Justin Ashton, XL’s vice president of business development.(emphasis added)
Mind you, a lot of us have older cars with no effective warranty.  And the idea of squeezing another 10 mpg out of my cute-ute while also reducing emissions is just damned appealing.

Gearheads can even DIY this kit, according to Prof Perry at Middle Tennessess State University.  Me?  I can't even change the oil in my car (I can add it, but don't ask me to do anything else under the hood).  But his kit should end up about $3000.  And that, my dears, is actually approaching affordable, provided I eat rice and beans for a year.  Or find a job.  Or get several big commissions.  Whichever.  But it's achievable, as opposed to buying a brand new hybrid RAV4 or Subaru Forester.  And yes, I really do need that small SUV, I crate my dog inside the car when we go anywhere, and when I do rescue runs I crate that dog inside the vehicle too.

Cough up three grand, maybe eight grand, or shell out upwards of $25k for a new car -- like Bill Clinton said, it's arithmetic.  This innovation will make it possible for those of us with less than stellar credit and less than fat savings to upgrade our vehicles, save some gas money, and help save the planet.  We need this.  And -- yoo-hoo, White House budget geeks -- a nice little tax credit would go a long way to make it happen, and maybe, just maybe create a few more jobs.  It's a win-win for everybody.

Originally posted to Noor B on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 05:50 AM PDT.

Also republished by Good News, SciTech, and Maryland Kos.

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