PHEV Conversion #80ish

This weekend was exciting, I started tearing into our 2008 PRIUS to convert it to a PHEV (Plug In Electric Vehicle)  I decided on using 18Ah SLA batteries from MK.  The MK ES17-12 cost me $37.50 when they came in even though I was quoted $34.50 when I ordered them.  Seems Battery prices are climbing daily.

The first step, using instructions from the open source project at was to add the traction  battery tap.  This required a bit of dis-assembly including removing one rear seat.  This was done a few months ago in anticipation of the addition of the PHEV battery pack.

First, the battery tray bottom is constructed using 1 1/2″ x 1/8″ Aluminum angle with 3/8″ aluminum channel stock as battery separators.  I started out to get the angle at Home Depot but oh my gaud, $40 for a 8 foot piece!  I went next door to the local aluminum supply house and bought what I needed cut to length for $2.42 a foot.

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The ends are 3/4″ x 1/8″ aluminum angle.  This was chosen because these will be used to bolt the tray to the floor of the car.

I had to chisle some sound-junk off the floor to allow the frame to sit down on the floor.


The frame was bolted to the floor using threaded 1/4-20″ pop-rivet inserts, four on each side.  I may install washers and nuts on the underside to insure they don’t pull out in a crash.


I cut 1/4″ off one bracket to allow the frame to sit as far to the right as possible.


After bolting the tray down the next step is hooking up the 20 batteries.  They are wired in series for a total nominal 260 Volts DC.  I still have some jumpers to make up, I ran out of steam and it was getting a bit chilly in the steel barn last night.

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The next step is to construct the HV control box and connect it to the computer mounted up on the dash.  I also need to construct the battery top that will bolt the batteries down and hold them in place.


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