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Hybrid Kit For Any Car.....Truth or Scam?

I just ran across this article on Yahoo. It has all the earmarks of a scam. What do you say?

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/this-could-be-big-abc-news/kit-turns-car-hybrid-170717691.html

Probably not a scam, but 4 big hurdles:

$3,000 will depend a LOT on batteries, control electronics, etc.

He glosses over the ‘plug in’ aspect of this - sounds like it give a boost while the battery’s charged, wonder if there’s any recharging going on while you drive? If not, then only a benefit for a short range.

The 50%-100% increase in mpgs sounds optimistic. That Honda Accord was said to get 20 mpg, which seems a bit low. Again, with the plug in aspect, it SHOULD get much better for a short range.

Finally. looks a lot more involved than a brake job - they only showed the motor. What about wiring? Battery mounting? Controller mounting? Any interaction with the engine?

Interesting, but ‘we’ll see’ comes to mind…

It might not be a scam in that it’s actually a motor/battery setup and it actually attaches to the rear wheels and actually creates a turning force on them.

But I can’t imagine it doing much, if anything, for your mileage. I certainly can’t imagine a one size fits all application working on every car out there.

He should send one to mythbusters and let them have at it.

Can the batteries produce enough power to actually add to the car to move the weight of said batteries to make it worth it?

My gut feeling is the guy may be bucking for a Federal (a.k.a. tax money) grant to “study the issue”.
Claims are made all of the time and often with little substance to them. This one may be no different. If it works then prove it. Show an unbiased source in the test vehicle and actually driving it after a fillup to verify those claims.
A vehicle on a jack spinning an adapter plate doesn’t mean anything to me.

I would note that this guy also says that the unit produces about 15 horsepower. His logic is that mileage will increase dramatically because that’s (allegedly) 15 horsepower less the gasoline engine will not be using… :wink:

It’s 2012. It’s America. Therefore, assume scam on any business unless proven differently.
This is how we do business in the post-wisdom, post-morals era.

It sure sounds like a scam to me but I’ll just call it “extremely optimistic” until proven otherwise. I would not buy the kit anyway but thanks for the comments.

This isn’t a scam, it’s just a research project. I’ve read about this research and there’s nothing there that shouldn’t work, but there is a lot over hurdles between the college research project and on the shelf product.

When he says 50-100% I’m wondering if he’s using some metric other than MPG, because I doubt he’s doubling the gas mileage.

I’ve read other articles and seen other Videos about this guy. The product is suppose to fit over the back part of the drum brakes and the drum, I don’t see how they are going to do this with disk brakes. The batters and controllers are going to fit in a box that goes into your trunk. This box is about the size of two large luggage bags. He says he can make it smaller, but that increases the heat so I think it remain large.

It won’t wire to your engine. It isn’t suppose to work like a traditional hybrid that cuts the engine off and runs only on the electric motor. The electric part is suppose to assist the motor. Meaning when you press the gas and the motor in your car starts to spin the electric motor also push the wheels too taking load off the gas motor. A computer could figure that out without having to wire it to the engine or gas pedal.

About a year ago on PBS there was a show about alternative auto technologies. There was a guy that would turn any car into an all-electric car. It was pretty expensive. But it was cool to see.

I don’t think this meets the criteria to be called a hybrid. It is simply an assist motor. It doesn’t appear to be able to recover any energy through regenerative breaking nor is the battery charged by the cars gas motor.

In addition to the install cost, there will be the costs to recharge the battery from household current. even if the system works, and it probably will, I don’t think any gas savings will ever offset the costs to add this and recharge the batteries.

@Keith–However, it would be easier and a lot safer to snake an extension cord over to a neighbor’s electrical outlet at night and borrow some power for this device than to try to slip over under the cover of darkness and siphon his gas.

I watched a different video and the guy said they recovered energy from it.

It’s been substantially already done being a somewhat different version of Buick eAssist. Saturn VUE Green Line had light electrical assist too. The supposed advantage of the version showed is that it can be retrofitted but possibly Buick’s eAssist could be retrofitted too. The system, especially the coils, needs to be protected from road debris and weather and hardened to resist road shock and vibration.

Some farmer with a perpetual motion machine got millions from investors a few years ago.

And I recall the kits that nullified 4 cylinders on V-8s to double fuel mileage in the 70s.

And a friend mailed off $50 dollars for a solar powered clothes drier and got 50 feet of ski rope and a sack of clothes pins.

The greatest accomplishment of such inventions is separating the public from their money.

My gut feeling is that the good professor’s main purpose is to acquire a government grant, dole out a pittance to some grad students for piddling around while accomplishing nothing, and then doing well on the remainder.

A couple of years ago I was supportive of wind power but had some reservations. After watching months of wind farm construction going on around me and reading the details on those turbines I consider it nothing more than companies playing the government tax game. Clean and green they’re not when all of the figurative smoke clears.

I can’t imagine it would have much range and they’re probably measuring the mileage by some hokey contrivance. I also can’t imagine you’ll ever save enough gas to come close to the cost of the ‘upgrade’