Soon, bolt-on-kit that may help cut fuel consumption by half
Wellington, July 30 (ANI): US researchers have come up with a cheap bolt-on kit, which will be able to turn most ordinary cars into fuel-efficient hybrids.
Engineering technology students at the Middle Tennessee State University fitted a 20-year-old Honda Accord wagon with a retrofit plug-in hybrid system.
The kit, which promises to cut down the fuel consumption by half, powers the front wheels using the conventional petrol engine, and a pair of electric hub motors hidden inside the rear wheels.
Once fitted, users will be 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 required electricity into the hub motors to provide low-speed power.
This helps accelerate the most fuel-hungry part of driving - the conventional petrol engine.
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 70kmh, the Stuff.co.nz reported.
According to researchers, the in-wheel electric motors provide about 270Nm of torque, which can help to slash the car's fuel bill in half.
Although the system currently costs roughly 3000 dollars, which is about twice the price of converting a car to run on LPG, the costs should come down as battery technology improves and the suitcase-sized bank of batteries become much smaller.
The big benefit of the retrofit system is that it does not require any modification to the suspension to use it. It can be bolted directly over the existing parts, the University said. (ANI)
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