Photo via Carblog
When Consumer Reports put their Prius Touring through an expensive modification in order to convert it into a plug-in electric car, the results were pretty astonishing: the converted plug-in Prius picked up an extra 25 miles per gallon, landing the already efficient car at a whopping 67 mpg. And that's just the around town mileage. On the highway, the modified plug-in Prius registered an impressive 75 mpg.
The new stats, however, only apply to the mileage the car got in the first 35 miles on the road. Which is still important, because almost 80 percent of Americans drive under 40 miles to work each way, and a plug-in model might make for an ideal commuter car.
Bad news is, the conversion procedure (plus parts) costs around $10,000. Even the savings of hundreds of dollars a year on gas makes breaking even on that figure a pretty daunting feat. But with car makers like Toyota readying their plug-in models for release in the early 2010s, it's promising sign that electric cars are moving closer to better market feasibility.
It's just another positive sign about the future of the once-abandoned electric car: they're efficient, they're functional—and they're on they're way.
Watch the Consumer Reports video about Prius the modification for more info.