The PiCS is an auxiliary power supply and electrical control system that can be installed in most conventional vehicles, effectively turning them into gasoline-electric hybrids. Installing the kit increases the overall efficiency of the engine by transferring some of the heavier electrical loads from the alternator to the auxiliary power supply, a bank of Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) or nickel metal hydride (NiMh) batteries. Once depleted, these batteries can be recharged simply by plugging the kit into any standard wall outlet.
Transferring loads from the alternator on start-up reduces the amount of electricity that needs to be generated through fuel combustion, replacing it with the much cheaper electricity provided by local power utilities. A typical engine only converts about half of its mechanical energy into electricity; reducing the draw on this power therefore also reduces the amount of fuel consumed overall. Less fuel consumed means fewer vehicular emissions, which means users aren't just helping their budgets, but the environment as well!
Preliminary tests have shown that users with short- to medium-distance commutes enjoy the highest increases in fuel economy – up to 43% on a 15km commute with a Toyota Prius!
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