The Department of Engineering Technology at the Middle Tennessee State University has developed a plug-in hybrid retro-fit system for cars.
As hybrid cars show the world that we can get more miles to the gallon from fuel by adding in an electric motor to the mix (depending on just how that electricity is generated, of course), it was inevitable that aftermarket solutions would eventually surface.
Now, the Department of Engineering Technology at the Middle Tennessee State University has popped up with what they claim is an after market plug-in hybrid system that can be added to just about any car and would cost – assuming it gets to market – around £2,000.
The system works by adding an electric motor on each rear wheel, neatly fitting round the brake structure, and a controller and batteries in the boot.
The system works only around town – it disengages at higher speeds – and is said to offer fuel savings of up to 50 per cent in fuel usage as the electric motors supplement the power from the ICE engine.
It all looks a bit Heath Robinson at the moment, but if it can be made in to a production system the makers reckon the batteries and controller would take up around the same amount of space as an airline carry-on bag.
For those who do a lot of short journeys in heavy traffic this could be a great solution, and at only £2k it would actually make economic sense, unlike production plug-in hybrids which really can’t be justified on a cost benefit basis.
Watch this space.
Aftermarket Plug-in Hybrid System Video