Poulsen Hybrid kit: Turn any car into a plug-in hybrid (once they actually start selling the thing)

PousenHybrid6.jpg

Danish engineer Ulrik Poulsen is selling the “Poulsen Hybrid”, an aftermarket modification package that can convert any vehicle with fifteen-inch or larger wheels into a hybrid gas-electric vehicle. The system is simple: two electric motors snap onto the outside of the rear wheels and provide 7HP of additional power — plenty to keep a car at highway cruising speed. Batteries are recharged using regenerative braking while on the road and a wall plug-in when at home.

The system starts at $3,500 without batteries. Lead-acid batteries will cost another $450, while a lithium-ion pack will cost $4,500. So not cheap, certainly, but an interesting option for tinkerers or those who have old cars they love but don’t want to buy a whole new hybrid. (Or those who find the bolt-on drive of the Poulsen system appealing in a Back to the Future II sort of way.)

Initial orders are being taken now, but it looks like Poulsen hasn’t quite yet made his hoped-for 2008 shipping date.

Poulsen Hybrid product page [PoulsenHybrid.com via Treehugger via The Daily Green]

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7 Responses to Poulsen Hybrid kit: Turn any car into a plug-in hybrid (once they actually start selling the thing)

  1. dculberson says:

    If I spent $9000 on a hybrid kit, I would expect it to be hidden. I guess I’m not falling in love with the BTTFII look. And it’s not like installation is reversible. Look here:

    http://www.poulsenhybrid.com/install.html

    in particular:
    [...]
    “Drill through fender in 6 positions using guide holes in the bracket.”
    [...]
    “Drill entry hole for cable bundle in the sub fender and the side or bottom of trunk or spare compartment using 1″ hole saw.”

    this would need done on both sides, then the batteries, etc would need put in the trunk, wiring tied into several systems on the car, etc.

    And to top that off, it would handle worse and ride worse due to the additional unsprung weight of the motors.

    Unless the fuel economy gains are tremendous, which I doubt, this is a real stinker from the get-go..

  2. btb says:

    Want. Something tell me this wouldn’t work on a Prelude with 4-wheel steering :(

  3. joshhaglund says:

    according to this wikipedia entry:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watt
    A typical automobile engine produces mechanical energy at a rate of 25,000 watts (approximately 33.5 horsepower) while cruising.

    i’d think a civic at 88kph (55mph) would produce less.

  4. Purly says:

    Still cheaper than buying a Prius. I’ll take one.

  5. guy_jin says:

    I’m no automotive expert (the most I can handle is changing my own oil/tires) – so what does 7 horsepower mean in real world terms?

  6. Zan says:

    In real world terms, 7 horsepower is approximately equivalent to being pulled by 7 horses.

  7. Matth says:

    Well, you could always install a water hybrid kit in your car for about around $300 bucks. found information on some kits at http://www.convert2hybrid.com
    I think that’s the way to go to increase mpg and reduce pollution.

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