Alt Fuel #7 – Hybrid Retrofitting

For those who have no idea of what retrofitting means, this consists of adapting current cars to have electric motors in two or four of the wheels of their car. I wrote about it in my other blog, but I won’t go further into the introduction of this technology otherwise we’ll delve too far into the pros and cons.

Pros:
– Should this catch on, we’re looking at a pretty quick solution to cut car-emissions drastically. An inventor of one such recent solution, Dr. Charles Perry, estimates this technology can save “120 million gallons (around 450 million litres) of fuel per day” in the United States alone, if fitted to all cars.
– Will make running a car much, much cheaper for the individual driver.
– Like LPG, a fantastic way of avoiding mass-trashing of current petrol and diesel cars.
– Unlike LPG, it doesn’t depend on fossil fuel.
– All of the above makes it the most likely candidate for the next widespread eco-solution for cars.
– Makes factory-made hybrids even sillier to look at.

Cons:
– A tad expensive. Dr. Perry estimates it’ll cost from $3000 to $5000 (€2100-€3500) to convert a car. This isn’t like buying a new hybrid car over a petrol one. This is a large investment. And if you take into account an expensive LPG conversion costs around €2000, this can be money that will take a long time get back in fuel savings.
– This won’t be applicable to every car. If their too heavy, the electric motors may very well lack the oomph to get the car going. Also won’t be applicable to cars with adjustable suspension or special brakes.
Poulsen Hybrids is a currently converting cars using this solution. Pity the conversion, is expensive, US-only, and makes the car look like it’s handicapped.
– Dr. Perry’s solution is due to become available only in three years. This is bad. We need this technology either today, or next week, tops.
– Battery packs will fill the boot. Not good, as pointed out in the entry on LPG.
– Doesn’t dispense the need for fossil fuels, it only diminishes it. This can be solved by the other solutions for ICE fuel.

Intro
Hybrids and Plug-In Hybrids
Plug-In Electric Vehicles
Biodiesel, bioethanol and such
Carbon-neutral Algae-based fuels
Hydrogen fuel cells
LPG
Hybrid Retrofitting
Petrol/Diesel

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