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After-Market Hybrid Kit

easy to install kit turns any car into a hybrid
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(+3, -1)
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Everyone wants better milage, but not everyone can buy a brand-new hybrid car like the Prius or Insight.

Companies could produce a kit compatable with many different cars so you could turn your existing car into a hybrid.

In a front wheel drive car, you would replace the transmission, the computer, and install a battery pack in the trunk area. Or, you could replace the rear axle and have 4WD.

In a rear wheel drive car, you would put motors in the front subframe. 4WD trucks would be more difficult, but you could put the motors in the transfer case.

Much like turbo kits, you could install an after-market kit from a major manufacturer or a third party company. Some would be quality systems, but there would be plenty of cheap knock-offs. Different systems would allow regenerative braking, 120V outlets, recharging from the wall, and changing torque split from front to back.

discontinuuity, Jun 06 2005

Electrocharger http://www.sigmaaut.../electrocharger.php
aftermarket hybrid [squigbobble, Sep 01 2005]

(?) GM's version http://www.advancea.../dsm20031001mw.html
"by placing two wheel hub motors in the rear of a front-wheel drive ... vehicle" [BunsenHoneydew, Jul 10 2006]

[link]






       I think once you factor in the cost of conversion and installation, you're better off waiting a year or two and buying a used hybrid. You're talking about replacing and/or altering the drivetrain in a fundamental manner--it's a much bigger deal than just adding a turbo kit.   

       Notable points: Most FWD cars don't *have* a rear axle that you could replace--you'd basically have to remove and rebuild the entire back half of the car. Likewise for the front wheels of a RWD.   

       As for changing the transmission, at least on a normal car that's one of the most expensive and labor-intensive modifications you can possibly do. While the most plausible option, it's going to be frightfully expensive   

       As for putting motors in the transfer case of a 4WD--"in" is a bad choice of wording, there isn't any room *in* the transfer case for anything, let alone a good sized electric motor, although you could plausibly make a total replacement transfer assembly with a motor built in--assuming there was room in the car's frame for it. But then you'd have to replace the entire transfer case, and probably the driveshafts too, as well as reingeneering ghod knows what under the car to make everything fit.   

       Also, I fail to see how cheap knock-offs are a bonus.   

       Conceptually it's not a bad idea, but practically speaking a degree of modification would be required that few people are willing to go through, or pay for. neutral.
5th Earth, Jun 07 2005
  

       The cheapest place to do this would be on the production line. Possibly a design house could produce hybrid kits for this purpose.
david_scothern, Jun 07 2005
  

       Hmmmm...this is really good idea in concept. As mentioned above, I think changing the engine, transmission, and all the controls might be a bit more than an afternoon's work for most volk. However, how about a mini-motor booster trailer? to whit: It only takes about 30 horsepower to drive a car down the road. Have a trailer with a mini, highly efficient, motor that drives the trailer wheels. Hook the trailer to your gas guzzling nightmare. When you are up to cruising speed, shut off the car's engine and let the trailer push you for a pittance.
crater, Jun 07 2005
  

       I think someone's had the same idea... they just found a different way to implement it (see link).
squigbobble, Sep 01 2005
  

       I think the electrocharger is supposed to act like a weak shot of nitrous. Look at the claim: "increases your initial rate of acceleration." Sounds like there's not a lot of juice to pull from.   

       [5th] gave up too easily. You could replace the rear hubs with hubmotors - currently under development from several manufacturers and suppliers - and sacrifice some of the trunk space to a block of Li-ion batts, all of which would convert your fossil FWD to a hybrid AWD.
elhigh, Sep 01 2005
  

       On several cars, the entire rear suspension drops out in one piece. On other cars, where the control arms bolt directly to the frame, you would still have room to mount some electric motors, halfshafts, and modified spindles. I don't think in-hub motors would be a good idea though.   

       The whole idea is that you would get a kit designed for your specific make and model of car, with pieces that would bolt in with only a hand drill and some wrenches as tools. This might be difficult for an average person to do, but then again, the average person doesn't modify their car much. Certified mechanics might be able to do this easier, especially if auto manufacturers release easily interchangeable parts.
discontinuuity, Sep 01 2005
  

       Baked-ish - see link. I'm not going to bone or mfd it though, because it wasn't aftermarket, and it never made it past the concept stage. It "wasn't suited to mass-production", so maybe it would be more viable as an add-on.   

       And the unsprung weight only adds 80 pounds (with GM's custom built motors)
BunsenHoneydew, Jul 10 2006
  

       After looking at the GM concept, it seems that in-hub motors wouldn't be too bad for a big heavy truck, but that extra unsprung weight would definately be felt on a small car. I'm not sure exactly how you could add electric motors to the average car, but I'm sure there is a way, and big trucks would have plenty of room to fit extra motors and batteries, and would benefit the most from improved fuel economy.   

       Here's another idea: use a car with the engine in the back, such as an old VW, Porshe, or a Toyota MR-2. You could add the motor, controller, and batteries from a golf cart to the front "trunk" area of the car, with halfshafts and spindles from a compatable front wheel drive car. Then you would have electric drive for going around town at low speed, and the original engine for regular highway driving, along with all-wheel-drive for snow.
discontinuuity, Nov 02 2006
  
      
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