Yes folks, as intimate as you might feel with your Prius, your high-tech friend is capable of doing things you never even imagined. With a little do-it-yourself, you can unlock a whole new set of latent magic powers that Toyota never wanted you to know about. The most notable thing your Prius is hiding from you is that it can run on pure EV mode, a feature that comes standard on Asian and European models, but is disengaged on those sent to the US. In "Stealth" mode, a Prius can go up to 34 mph on battery power alone. All the wiring is there—waiting to be hacked. A guide available here via CalCars shows a person how to hack the electronics and install a dashboard EV button using regular old RadioShack parts and household tools.
But activating EV mode is just the beginning. Coastal Electronic Technologies offers a long list of Prius enhancements, all or most of which can be installed, so they claim, at home with simple tools. In addition to their own prefab EV hack, CET offers a satellite radio system, added audio/video inputs, an auto-lock function for the doors, an iPod interface, and a system that lets the 12 volt power outlets stay on when the motor is off. They also offer a devise that bypasses the "I Agree" prompt shown by the GPS system when the car is started, and allows a person to enter a destination while the car is in motion (previously impossible). There is also a reverse video camera that shows, on the dashboard monitor, what's behind the car. And speaking of backing up, they plan to offer an end to the awful interior beep the Prius makes when in reverse.
Of course any modifications are at your own risk, and the risk of your warranty. But this is just the beginning. The mother of all Prius hacks is coming soon. Can you guess? Stay tuned. :: Coastal Electronic Technologies and the DIY guide