Turn your car into a plug-in hybrid

Students at the University of Middle Tennessee have been working towards developing a hybrid kit that enables you to change your car into a hybrid.   It’s taken them five years of research, but they’re now talking with potential investors to put their hybrid kit into production.  The cost?  They’re talking about $3000 for a kit that will turn your car into a plug-in hybrid getting anywhere from 50% to 100% better gas mileage.

MTSU Wheel Hub Motor Retrofit Kit
MTSU Wheel Hub Motor Retrofit Kit
It works by installing DC brushless motors that power the rear wheels.   The motors power the rear wheels directly, which makes it much easier for the gasoline engine to drive the front wheels – the less energy expended by the gasoline engine, the better the gas mileage.   The electric motors are powered by a lithium ion phosphate battery that sits in the trunk that’s recharged using a standard 120 volt outlet.   With the current battery they’re using, that gets you about 35 miles of driving between charges, but that can certainly be increases with better and bigger batteries.   The developers say that putting in the brushless electric motors will be an easy installation for car buffs – if you can change your brakes, you’ll be able to install the kit (that leaves me out).

While it sounds great, there’s still a ways to go before you can buy one, and the team has been talking to investors, hoping to get some money to put their concept into production.  As head researcher Professor Charles Perry says,  “We need quite a bit of money to have proof of product. What we’ve achieved is a demonstrated technology, not a proven technology. Investors want to see proven field-tested performance and reliability. We have to pass through this transition, from feasibility to true, viable product.”

The video below explains more about how it works.


via: MTSUnews.com

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