The day when consumers can turn any vehicle into an inexpensive plug-in hybrid may come sooner than we thought.
Middle Tennessee State University just produced an inexpensive plug-in hybrid kit that can be used on almost any car. All it takes is attaching a brushless DC electric motor to each rear wheel, then sticking a lithium battery pack and controller in the trunk (via GreenCarReports).
Using a 1994 Honda station wagon to show the feat in a video, Dr. Charles Perry from MTSU explained the kit can easily be removed and bolted onto any car. It also only costs $3,000. Consumers may soon get their hands on one if talks with potential investors go through, and Perry’s students receive enough capital to manufacture the plug-in hybrid technology.
Electro magnets placed around each wheel’s brake rotor generate 200 lbs. of torque, which offsets the power coming from the internal combustion engine. In layman’s terms, that means power from the rear tires makes the engine’s job easier. The kit works like “a motorised trolley,” writes GreenCarReports’ Anthony Ingram, “where the motors kick into to assist when needed, rather than constantly being powered.”
Of course, at a time when gas prices are soaring, the only thing on Americans’ minds is reducing their gas bill. To that end, Perry said the kit could improve city driving mileage by 50 to 100 per cent, although weather and other factors may come into play.
Watch the video below to learn more:
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