Mayor Rybak Picks up Official Plug-In Hybrid Car from Minneapolis Start-Up
ReGo Electric Conversions converts second City-owned hybrid for mayor’s use to plug-in — using solar energy
August 19, 2010 (MINNEAPOLIS) — Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak today picked up the second hybrid vehicle owned by the City of Minneapolis that has been converted to a plug-in. The vehicle, which the mayor will use for his official travel, was converted to a plug-in by a new, Minneapolis-based start-up company, ReGo Electric Conversions.
The vehicle that Mayor Rybak picked up today is the second hybrid that the City has had converted to a plug-in. In 2007, the City converted the first of its hybrid vehicles to a plug-in using a Canadian technology that was not then available in Minnesota. At the time, the cost of the conversion was approximately $11,000. Mayor Rybak used that car as his official vehicle for three years, and has now returned it to the City fleet.
The cost of converting the hybrid that the mayor picked up today, however, was $4,995, or around half of the cost of converting the first hybrid three years ago.
Mayor Rybak said, "ReGo is creating good jobs, adding to the capacity of our region’s growing green-manufacturing economy, enhancing our city’s overall sustainability and creating good jobs — right here on Nicollet Avenue. I’m very pleased that the City is able to improve our sustainability and support a Minneapolis start-up at the same time."
ReGo’s conversion process instantly increases gas mileage up to 85 miles per gallon. It expands the battery pack of existing hybrids while not sacrificing any trunk space, and the new battery pack can be plugged in to any standard outlet. In addition, ReGo conversion kits offer a unique weatherizing package that cuts down on the battery drain traditionally associated with cold Minnesota winters. All packs come with an insulation and battery warming system that helps minimize power loss during the winter.
ReGo’s operations are also solar-powered. ReGo is based at Mulroy’s Body Shop in south Minneapolis, which recently installed 176 solar panels, making it the largest solar array on a private business in Minnesota. Mulroy’s is one of the few green auto-body shops in the United States.
"It’s very exciting that this technology is now available right here in Minneapolis," Mayor Rybak continued. "Taking this step is one simple way that the City — or anyone — can reduce our emissions and help support green jobs, and if we can do it by using a benign power source like solar, so much the better."
Published Aug. 19, 2010