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Daox 12-24-2009 11:15 AM

2nd Gen Prius PHEV Conversion (Enginer plug-in lithium ion battery kit)
Christmas came a bit early this year for me.

For those who don't know, the Enginer PHEV kit is an additional battery pack for the Prius. This Enginer pack is a plug in pack that charges from a household 110V outlet. The Enginer pack has a 3000W dc to dc converter. This converts the 48V pack power up to 240V+ to charge the OEM Prius battery pack. So, the Enginer pack never directly powers the car, it just keeps the OEM pack topped off forcing the Prius to use more electric power. Once the Enginer pack runs out, the dc to dc converter shuts off and you return to normal hybrid mode. Users of the Enginer kit usually see 30+% increase in fuel economy when in use. The main draw back is that the dc to dc converter is limited to 3000W which is only 4hp. This doens't allow you to maintain 30-35 mph for an extended period of time. So, I can't run for a reeeeal long time on EV mode.

Of course it all starts with a story, so here goes. I'd been tracking the packages since they shipped. The kit contains 4 packages total. FedEx's site claimed they delivered two of them last night. I get home from work, no packages. :mad: I was not a happy camper. I called them up and asked what the heck was going on. They confirmed that the two packages had been delivered, obviously to the wrong house and would check with the driver. Anyway, it snowed last night and I was out shoveling this morning and my neighbor yells to me that he has two packages for me in his garage. Phew, glad to have them.

Anyway, I drug them inside (one was ~70lbs) and started opening! Here are the pics. If anyone has any requests, let me know.


The small box had a lot of little goodies in it. The copper bars to connect the batteries together, the battery balancer harnesses, some mounting hardware and a wrench for assembly.

The larger box contained the stainless box that holds all the goodies in the car. The build quality is pretty good, however most of the bolts I had to take out didn't really come out with the greatest of ease. I had to use the wrench to get them all the way out, no spinning them just with my fingers. This was and still is a concern of mine. This entire thing is Chinese made, its only real downside IMO. However, everything does seem to line up pretty good. I know I've had some cheap computer cases that have stuff don't really line up and its a pain to assemble. This kit doesn't seem to have that problem at least from the tiny bit I've look at it so far.

Popping the box open shows that it wasn't shipped empty. All the main components are there.

The DC to DC converter.

The charger.

100A breaker.

Cell balancer.

So, it looks like the only thing I'm waiting on is the batteries to put in the box. We'll see if they get here today or not.

In the mean time I'm feeling quite tempted to crack open that 3000W DC to DC converter to see whats inside... :)

rgathright 12-24-2009 11:31 AM

A step by step topic on a 2nd Gen Prius PHEV conversion?


I would be very tempted get a Prius and do this myself if it works for you.

Rokeby 12-24-2009 11:39 AM


Many thanks for starting this thread. I've been waiting/waiting to be able to
follow a DIY PHEV conversion from the git-go. :thumbup:

IIRC, the Enginer conversion has two battery options. If so, which one did you

On the bolt hole issue; are you saying the holes in the "held on" piece need to
be redrilled, or the holes in the "held-to" piece retapped, or both?

Again, thanks, especially for the pix. I'll be looking in on you frequently.

Who knows, if all goes well -- both for your install, and for me --I could be
doing the same in the not too distant future. ;)

Daox 12-24-2009 11:44 AM

The Enginer actually has 4 options now. A 2, 4, 6, and 8 kWh pack. I got the 4kWh pack as it is currently on sale for $1200 less than normal!

The problem with the bolts is the tapped holes need to be chased just to open them up a little bit. Nothing that is horrible, just annoying.

Anyway, I forgot to mention this in the first post. One thing I'm not happy with is I was expecting to get 4 cell balancers with the 4kWh kit. A few days after ordering, I got an email from Jack saying I needed to wire the balancers in parallel as shown below. IMO this is NOT what you want. One cell could go bad or even just age faster than the other that it is in parallel with and the balancer would be useless in detecting this problem until both cells go bad.

I am in contact with Enginer trying to see if they'll provide me with the two more balancers that I had assumed I would get.

NeilBlanchard 12-24-2009 11:46 AM

Awesome! My Mom has a 2005 Prius, and eventually she will need to replace the batteries. I can hardly wait until you get this baby installed and find out how far a good ecodriver can go on a 4kW battery...

bennelson 12-24-2009 11:46 AM

Tim, I will be back in town on SUNDAY!

SVOboy 12-24-2009 11:51 AM

Looking good so far :thumbup:

MetroMPG 12-24-2009 12:10 PM

Tim: NICE Christmas present! Looks like UPS just brought you a bunch of fun.


Originally Posted by Daox (Post 149785)
One thing I'm not happy with is I was expecting to get 4 cell balancers with the 4kWh kit. A few days after ordering, I got an email from Jack saying I needed to wire the balancers in parallel as shown below. IMO this is NOT what you want.

I agree this is not desirable.

The battery pack is the costliest part of this kit. You do not want to skimp on monitoring/protecting it at the individual cell level. It becomes even more important as the cells age and start to drift apart from one another in capacity/performance.

Even with the cheap, used lead acid batteries in the ForkenSwift, I would not be satisfied with a monitoring system that only showed me the performance of each pair of batteries. I want to know what each battery is doing to protect them from damage.

Sounds like they're just trying to cut costs.

But unless someone gives you a convincing technical reason the new setup (one monitor/balancer per pair of cells) is equal to the original (one per cell), I wouldn't be satisfied.

Daox 12-24-2009 12:10 PM


Originally Posted by bennelson (Post 149787)
Tim, I will be back in town on SUNDAY!

Haha, I will be impatiently awaiting your return. Me and Ben will be doing the install this Sunday. :) However, it seems I won't have all my batteries by then. Of the 2 packages left to come, one isn't going to be here until the 30th. I am assuming that each package is 2kWh worth of batteries.

In the mean time I am going to dig through the stuff I do have, get it setup and ready for install.

MetroMPG 12-24-2009 12:15 PM

So the question is: are you going to wait patiently for all 4 kWh, or set it up as a 2 kWh kit and try it out before the 2nd batch of cells comes? :)

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