Turn Your Car Into A Hybrid


Thanks to a Danish Engineer, you can turn pretty much any car into a hybrid. The addition is made in the form of a bolt on motor. As you can see in the picture, there is a motor that attaches to the rear wheels adding an additional 7 Hp. The batteries are stored in the trunk. Kits start at $3,500 and go up to $4,500 depending on battery selection. At least, that’s what they will be when they finally go on sale.

[via Boing Boing Gadgets]

36 thoughts on “Turn Your Car Into A Hybrid

  1. Unless it can move the car on i’s own, there’s no point. All this “hybrid” shit is stupid. Give me an all-electric car that can make 200 miles on a charge and go at least 70mph and i’m sold.

  2. Hey it is for real, thers actually 2 of the 7 hp motors, one on each wheel and its powered by excess power from the alt, and also regenerative braking. and they only kick in between 15 to 60 mph i believe. and it apparently boosts your gas milage if you stay in that range by about 30%. If the kit costs 1000$ i can see it being totally worth it. but if the kit costs 5 or 10,000, definitely not.

  3. This must be a joke. Seriously this seems like such a bad idea. ~$3500 whats the payback time and it looks dumb too. Must be able to power the car on its on I could hire a groups of poor kids to push my car and do better of on money and energy. It plugs in you are just polluting somewhere else. come talk to me when you have something that is not a bolt on hazard to my car and others.

  4. But it looks like the engine is running 100% of the time regardless of whether or not the electric motors are driving the car. That is the nice thing about real hybrids is that you can run them completely on electricity or completely gasoline, or let the computer decide which is best. The newer vehicles that can turn off\on one or two cylinders in the engine depending on driving requirements are cool. My dads friend has a big dodge hemi truck that does that and he actually gets pretty good in town mileage with it but still has hemi power when needed.

  5. They asume that there is excess electrical power to be harnessed from your car. Well there is no such thing as a free lunch….. If you load down the alternator then the engine has to work harder and burn more gas to turn the alternator and drive the car. Regenitive braking is good but doesn’t generate nearly enough power. You would be better off using the power to split water into hydrogen and oxygen and burn the hydrogen in your engine. I have a better option for less money. DONT MASH THE GAS! Or buy a motorcycle for the same cost and get to use the HOV lane… :-D

  6. RE: no free lunch. You guys are thinking of old generators that put out more volts at higher engine RPM. Alternators these days do not require more engine power to run more electronics. The engine does not have to work hard to turn the alternator. One can put too much of a load on the alternator to the detriment of the vehicle battery and the charging system. If the electrical load from these wheel-engines is within the specs of the alternator then there will NOT be any extra load on the engine. If the load and the car’s OEM electrics are more than the alternator is rated for the engine will still NOT be working any harder. It will just run down your battery and/or burn out your alternator because it cannot keep up with the load. If the alternator is rated for 12-14 volts, it will output that amount regardless of 800 rpm or 600 rpm.

  7. Obviously no one has actually read the website.
    According to the website, the system is NOT connected to the vehicle’s alternator. It is recharged by plugging it in. It also recaptures energy by regenerative braking.

  8. I’m not sure if anyone actually read the site before commenting (or writing this) – but the price is 5K with lead acid batteries and a charger – and 8.6K with the lithium battery pack/charger. The motors are NOT powered by the alternator – they are powered by the battery pack. According to the site itself – it is not possible to power the system with the alternator.

    No internal combustion engine will ever have its efficiency raised by running a motor off the existing electrical system. The increased load of the electric motor WILL cause the rotational resistance of the alternator to rise – requiring more power from the combustion engine to accomplish this. Because of the inefficiencies of converting between different kinds of power – it will actually be less efficient than straight up combustion.

    While I don’t doubt this will raise the fuel economy of whatever it operates on, wether it is enough to justify 8 large will have to be seen. I’m guessing not but we shall see when some results come in.

  9. If some of you had bothered to read the information on the site, you’d know that it is not a “free energy” solution. It uses batteries, plugs in and provides regenerative braking. Here is a quote from their FAQ:

    “Many people are asking ‘Why not charge the batteries from the alternator while on the road?’ Since your vehicle’s alternator is powered by an ICE (gas engine), this would defeat the purpose of a hybrid system.”

    Think of the system as a power assist on a bicycle – you don’t rely on it to get you all the way to your destination, it merely helps you through the tough parts by supplying some torque so you can conserve your strength.

    For those of you that are irritated that the electricity is merely “polluting elsewhere” consider this: most of the energy that comes from your gasoline is actually going out of the tail pipe of the car. Cars do not burn all of the gasoline put into them and a hell of a lot of energy is lost to waste heat. Less than 1% of the energy used by a vehicle’s engine is used to move the driver.

    In a coal burning plant they strive for efficiency – it makes them more money for less fuel. They ensure that most of what goes in is burned. This means you are polluting less, saving money on a gas bill, and reducing our dependance on foreign oil.

    The only thing that I might take issue with is the price – it should not be that hard to figure out how long it will take for the device to pay for itself…. once there’s empirical evidence from customers, that is.

  10. “No internal combustion engine will ever have its efficiency raised by running a motor off the existing electrical system.”

    Look up diesel electric locomotives to see a common example where IC engine->generator->electric motor is more efficient than a direct IC drive (in an application requiring massive torque).

    Regarding alternators: The greater the power output, the more mechanical power they require to turn (about 1HP for a 50 amp alternator, 4+HP for high output alternators – not enough to drive 14HP worth of electric motors). Note that power is *not* voltage, but current*voltage.

  11. Repeat after me:

    “I will not violate the laws of thermodynamics.”

    “Excess” alternator energy isn’t going to turn the wheels at 7hp.

    Regenerative braking, possibly could charge some but you can’t just bolt it on and expect it not to radically change the entire driving and handling profile of the car.

    To store this power you’ll now need some big heavy batteries.

    Lets consider your basic 8 horse power engine. With it, you can push around 3 or 4 hundred pounds, but not really all the quickly. With this system, you’re going to add at least that much weight to the vehicle.

    Oh, and by the way, where’s the motor here? Those hubcap looking things are not 3.5hp motors and they’re sure as heck not going to be strong enough to provide regenerative braking — so is there linkage of some kind to yet more equipment?

  12. On-Wheel motors: Brushless DC construction. Dimensions 14″ diameter x 2″. Weight 35 lb. Rated power: 10KW = 13.5 HP (motors on two wheels).

    With the ReGen it sounds like it will recharge at a constant rate when are lightly hitting the brake (The brake light comes on) but if you push any harder the braking will be done by the disc brakes.

    Looks like a good idea… I’m not sure it would be worth the cost yet though.

  13. “I will not violate the laws of thermodynamics.”

    It doesn’t – it’s a plug-in hybrid which gets some of its energy from the wall.

    I’ve already handled the alternator argument – it does not use it.

    “Regenerative braking, possibly could charge some but you can’t just bolt it on and expect it not to radically change the entire driving and handling profile of the car.”

    This is true – they say “The effect felt by the driver when the system is turned on is equivalent to freewheeling down a 3% grade.” For the regenerative braking they tie that into the electrical system (the brake light) – if you tap the brake, the regenerator kicks in and recovers the power while slowing you to a halt. If you slam the brakes you get nothing (it doesn’t interfere with the primary function of braking).

    To store this power you’ll now need some big heavy batteries.

    “Lets consider your basic 8 horse power engine. With it, you can push around 3 or 4 hundred pounds, but not really all the quickly. With this system, you’re going to add at least that much weight to the vehicle.”

    This is nonsense. The reason we put cars on wheels is because it offsets some of the force normally required to move something that’s very heavy – the force is transferred to friction on the wheels. It’s much easier to drive wheels than to exert a linear force directly – otherwise we’d have no need for shopping carts, everyone could easily carry all of the groceries around.

    The counter to this would be if one lived in a very hilly area, though regenerative braking used correctly should still improve efficiency.

    Nobody is suggesting a violation of the laws of thermodynamics – just a more efficient use of the energy that is already there. If roughly 80% of the energy from the burning of gasoline is being lost to heat that means there is tons of room for improvement. Work is being done to improve how much gasoline is actually burned in the piston and thermoelectric recovery is being tested on the tailpipe. I saw both on Wired, I think, but cannot find it now.

    Oh, and the motors are installed on both of the rear wheels pictured.

  14. Enough discussion has occurred regarding the “excess energy” misconception. But I wanted to briefly comment on the misconception that hybrids have to be able to run off the electric motor only — not at all. “Parallel” hybrids can have this capability (either system can provide power independently) but not necessarily — the honda insight doesn’t, for instance. But “series” hybrids do not (ice is a generator which powers the motor). Most “hybrid” cars today are a mixture of series and parallel — the ice powers the motor and can drive the wheels independently. But still, the ability for the ice to turn off and the motor to drive independently is optional.

  15. To all you haters out there: don’t buy one.

    For anybody out there who has been following the plug-in hybrid scene at all, this rig sounds great. The only plug-in competitor delivering the goods right now is the add-in battery pack from Hymotion, which only fits the current generation of Prius. (And costs $10K.) Half the price and potentially fits a lot of models? Bring it on.

    And for those griping about the cost, think about this. Most folks building DIY pure-electric vehicles are doing DC-based systems with lead-acid batteries, and getting 40 miles total range, but no regeneration. AC systems give you regeneration, but are $20-$30K. To me, $5K to turn my paid-for PT Cruiser into anything resembling a plug-in hybrid is a bargain. Mark me up as an “early adopter”. I don’t want to wait years for a $40,000 Chevy Volt. I’d rather be out on the street NOW demonstrating that I want to see us off oil sooner rather than later.

  16. While hybrids have their place they aren’t a unviversal solution. While plugin hybrids shift the point of pollution they may pollute less in the long run. I would have rather seen the stock hubs replaced with hub motors rather than this Rube Goldberg looking affair. While this is certainly a hybrid, but an unsophisticated one. Nott he set it and forget, off the shelf item most US auto buyers are accustomed to buying. With gas at $1.699,it would take a long too pay off, but price are going to set new highs again, no doubt. In the event it was mentioned on the Poulsen Hybrid web page, I missed it. Unless this ends up raising the trade in value of the car it’s initially installed on, the unit can be installed on new cars until it’s components wear out

  17. “I’d rather be out on the street NOW demonstrating …”

    My advice is get (and ride) a hybrid bicycle. For $5000, you can get a really sweet one!

    This hybrid car has its place, but it won’t improve efficiency 30% in stop and go traffic, or for trips around town where there is relatively little constant speed cruising. A hybrid bike, will deliver 1000+mpg equivalent, and make a real difference now.

  18. Unfortunately Ken, I can’t go 80mph on one of those bikes.

    Regenerative breaking is useful, once you realize the amount of energy it takes to stop something that heavy.

    If you want efficiency, get a motorcycle, 60+ mpg.

    Pure-electric vehicles may have a low price/gallon, but what you save in gas you spend on new batteries every few years.

  19. car efficiency arguments aside… I want to see some one hack this and mount it on their motorcycle. since steering and suspension mechanisms on a bike are considerably less complex than they are a car this has real potential.

  20. I don’t know if this would work but if you drew off the alternator while decellerating which would be it’s own form of regenerative breaking for the engine.

    Just trigger it when the break lights are on for a second for some hysteresis.

  21. simon templar, you have lost your bs’in mind. the difference between the rpms is amps! more rpms, them ore amps your alternator can dish out!… the voltage is maintained by a regulator. Those motor wheels? Absolute waste of time, as far as i am concerned, if the car doesn’t run fully on gas or electric…. tis not a hybrid…. is a faster way to pay for more gas, cept you do it early on… seriously… buy a hybrid, save on gas? yeah buy a hybrid, pay for your future gas now!@@# on sale at walmart!! low prices because you fill a smaller tank dipsh!t$

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