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Saturday, February 16, 2008

OEMtek Uses Valence Batteries for 100 MPG Prius Conversion

Today's front page of the San Jose Mercury News business section has a feature story on how OEMtek's $12,500 conversion using Valence (VLNC) batteries can improve the gas mileage of a Toyota Prius by double or more.

The article states:

For $12,500, OEMtek says it can add a bigger battery pack to your Prius and double its mileage - to 100 mpg or more.

"There are people who want this right now, no matter what," said Cindi Choi, vice president of business development and the de facto chief executive of the six-employee company.

OEMtek will be ready to convert about 30 Priuses as soon as March, Choi said. It has battery packs on hand and continues to do durability testing and other late-stage engineering work. Its Web site ( has a
"buy" link where customers can pre-order the vehicle.

and on the power plant:

Batteries come from Valence Technology, a Texas company (that I cover in "Kirk's Investment Newsletter") that says 80 companies have tested or used its batteries. Chairman Carl Berg is a Silicon Valley investor and real-estate developer. He's been doing test loops of the OEMtek cars from his Mission West Properties offices in Cupertino, averaging 89.81 mpg.

Valence recently announced a $70 million deal to sell batteries to the Tanfield Group, a British company that makes Smith Electric Vehicles vans and trucks.

"We think this can be a very major business," Berg said of the OEMtek BREEZ. "We believe there can be 100,000 people or more easily that will buy this add-on to their Prius."

The company website says:
“BREEZ upgrades your regular hybrid car to a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) by adding a bigger battery pack & a standard electrical plug enabling you to get 100+MPG, reduce CO2 emissions by 50%, and costing you under $1.00 to fill-up.”

* BREEZ is a Plug-and-Play after-market solution that delivers an additional 9 kWh of energy storage using Valence Technology’s lithium phosphate batteries. (this is over 6x more energy than Toyota’s battery!)

  • No removal of spare tire or original battery
  • Hinged Structure allows access to spare tire
  • Installation Time of 1/2 day
  • 12-month Warranty

Toyota Prius + BREEZ

  • OEMTEK’s Toyota Prius + BREEZ upgrades an existing Toyota Prius Hybrid vehicle into a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, or PHEV, to increase zero emissions miles by approximately 30 miles and to increase the Toyota Prius’ fuel economy from 45 mpg to over 100 mpg. We supplement the Toyota Prius’s original nickel metal hydride battery with Valence's lithium phosphate rechargeable battery pack, with 9 kWh of energy storage, increasing the usable energy storage by over six times
It should not be long before somoene has a solar panel you can put on the roof of your "plug-in electric vehicle" (PEV) at work or while camping to charge the PEV off the grid. I may email the 6-person company and suggest that task for employee #7.

Images from OEMtek's booth at the 23rd International Electric Vehicle Symposium (EVS-23) on December 2-5, 2007 (Click on photo for more images)

Read my article:

Disclaimer. I have been accumulating Valence in my newsletter and personal portfolios and have good profits already at Friday's closing price of $2.56. I plan to continue to trade around this core position in an attempt to increase my overall return. I expect Valence to be a very volatile stock

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