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Dr. Charles Perry, a former electrical engineer at IBM, believes his hybrid retrofit kit can transform nearly any vehicle into a fuel-saver at a cost of between $3,000 and $5,000. The idea is at least sound enough to have taken the top prize at the green energy competition from the Tennessee Technology Development Corp., which came with a $50,000 grant along with a matching investment and a hopeful deal to put the invention into commercial production within three years from Palmer Labs LLC.

Perry's patent-pending hybrid retrofit kit features one hub-mounted electric motor with 10-15 horsepower powering each wheel. The needed electrons to power the system would come from an appropriately-sized battery mounted securely in the trunk. According to the inventor, this system could potentially double fuel mileage in urban settings. Work is currently underway on a functional prototype that's being developed with assistance from the Tennessee Technological University.

[Source: Popular Science]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 6 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      What a nonevent !!! What ? Next time you write an article about the (re)invention of the hot water ?
      Go here http://www.diyelectriccar.com/forums/?s=6bf4facfd7e77f69a8d9b453da0620cd And you can see that it is already done and done again, before this "inventor" even thought about it !
        • 5 Years Ago
        He's not claiming to have invented the "concept", but a more elegant retrofit-friendly implementation. Saying that's not an invention is a little like complaining that BMW deserves no credit for the engine of the 335 because the Model T also had an engine.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This sounds identical to the Poulsen Hybrid:
      http://www.poulsenhybrid.com/
      • 5 Years Ago
      Looks much better than the poulsen thing as you don't cause as much drag and the parts don't seem as complicated. I do think this would be a great system but almost seems too good to be true, no?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Toyota has accomplished this on the racetrack already and beat the field handily:

      http://www.greencarcongress.com/2007/07/toyota-hybrid-r.html

      http://inventorspot.com/articles/toyota_hybrid_race_car_compete_2_10049

      Chances are this device will be much too expensive by the time it comes to market in three years. I'm hoping large format Li Ion batteries will be cheap enough and charging stations numerous enough to make BEVs much more feasible so that you won't need these types of retro hybrids.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It looks better refined than the Poulsen system as it seemingly has no unsightly umbilical. http://www.poulsenhybrid.com/

      The availability of hub motors will undoubtedly make retrofit hybrids a practical reality.