Archive for hybrid retrofitting

The hybrid retrofit kit

Posted in Alt-Fuel, Car conception, Green Tech with tags , , on 27/11/2012 by Alexander

Years ago, a bit of news popped up on an idea that allowed any normal car to be fitted with electric motors and a battery, essentially turning it into a hybrid. More news surfaced recently, but it seems no one was paying attention. Now all all I want to know is how long until it’s available and will it come to where I live. Thanks.

Where the hell is it?

Posted in Alt-Fuel, Car conception, Green Tech with tags , , , , , , on 26/05/2011 by Alexander


Two years ago, Popular Science and Autoblog Green ran pieces on a former IBM engineer, Dr. Charles Perry, that won an award and subsequent funding for an idea that would make it feasible for everyone to drive a hybrid. I wrote about it on my other blog (before I created this one specifically for cars, because I was droning on far too much about them there), and again here in the series on alternative fuels.

It’s been two years, and nothing more has surfaced. The PopSci article said there’d be an experimental phase involving fleets of government vehicles, and the system would be commercially available by next year. Shouldn’t some sort of inkling on progress have come out by now? Have they hit a massive snag? What’s going on? The hybrid retrofitting concept, along with the algal fuel production idea, were my two favourite alt-fuel short/mid-term solutions for the fuel crisis. The long-term solutions will probably involve the shockwave generator and/or the split-cycle engine, but as I kept insisting in the alt-fuel series, intermediate solutions are needed, so that we don’t mass-trash our current vehicles and create unnecessary problems in the process.

And another thing that makes new breakthroughs urgent is the current madness that surrounds electric cars. Read this carefully, people: EV’s are not the future. I don’t care what a stupid German who did 100,000km in a Tesla Roadster says (if he can sit around and wait for his car to recharge various times on a 800km-trip, he has far too much spare time on his hands), autonomy is shit and makes the things impractical. They attract spiders and rats, and you have to have a garage with your own private mains to recharge one. Plus, too many electric cars recharging will overtax the electricity grid, driving up fossil fuel consumption at the power station, throwing any environmental advantages EV’s might have had to shit.

So if EV’s continue to cement an undeserved reputation as eco and green, practical, and the next conventional type of automotive propulsion, we are in some deep shit. This’ll mean that research and development of other alternatives, such as the ones I’ve mentioned, will wind down and perhaps eventually peter out. And let’s face it, it was the lack of alternatives to fossil fuel-driven vehicles that led to our current situation, where people fight wars over oil, that then gets turned into exaggeratedly-priced fuel.

And this is when I wish I was a so-called A-list blogger, with a gazillion daily views. No-one’s going to read this swill, and it’s a shame because even though I can’t write silken prose to save my life, I wish I could help diffuse these pro-alt-fuel, don’t-get-too-carried-away-with-EV’s ideas properly.

Alt Fuel #7 – Hybrid Retrofitting

Posted in Alt-Fuel, Green Tech with tags , , , on 02/08/2009 by Alexander

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