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Plug-in Hybrid Retrofit Kits for Any Car: Research project

Posted in Research by Kate Archdeacon on July 27th, 2012

Source: The Age

 
Photos by Andy Heidt for MTSU

From “Do-it-yourself hybrid” by Barry Park:

A cheap bolt-on kit will one day be able to turn most ordinary cars into fuel-sipping plug-in hybrids, US researchers say.

Engineering technology students at the Middle Tennessee State University have fitted a 20-year-old Honda Accord wagon with a retrofit plug-in hybrid system that powers the front wheels using the conventional petrol engine, and a pair of electric hub motors hidden inside the rear wheels.

Users are then able to plug the hybrid car into an ordinary power point to charge up a set of lithium-ion batteries mounted in the wagon’s load space.

The batteries in turn feed electricity into the hub motors to provide low-speed power that is able to help the conventional petrol engine accelerate – the most fuel-hungry part of driving.

The bolt-on kit was developed in recognition of the fact that many drivers in the US only travelled about 70 kilometres a day at speeds below about 70km/h.

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Read the full article by Barry Park on the Age or read more about the project on Middle Tennessee State University’s website.

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