Design Engineering

Electric hybrid retrofit kit hopes to double any car’s gas mileage

By Design Engineering Staff   

General Automotive electric hybrid

Cheap and easy aftermarket upgrade could cost as little as US$3,000.

Middle Tennessee State University professor, Dr. Charles Perry, and a team of MTSU students have developed a plug-in hybrid retrofit kit that holds the promise of doubling the fuel economy of most fuel burning passenger cars. According to Perry, who holds the Russell Chair of Manufacturing Excellence, gas mileage on a 1994 Honda station wagon retrofitted with laboratory prototype kit increased anywhere from 50 to 100 percent.

The research Honda has been fitted with electric motors in each rear wheel and a large lithium-ion battery, which is mounted in the rear of the vehicle. The system uses two three-phase DC brushless motors mounted to the hub of the real wheels but doesn’t require modifying anything mechanical, including the brakes, bearings, suspension. In addition, Perry estimates the kit could cost between US$3,000 to US$5,000.

Check out Dr. Perry’s explanation of the kit on the MTSU web site.

Perry said the project has reached the commercialization stage and he has manufacturing partner. The team is now in the process of attracting potential investors to build and demonstrate a manufacturing version.


“We have gained proof of concept in terms of feasibility,” he said. “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.”


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