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Old 08-20-2009, 03:23 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question how to make a DIY hybrid 2010 Corolla S?

i am getting great fuel mileage already i'm in the low 40 mpg's on the freeway. But city driving i get terrible mpg's. i want to improve city mpg's. i have heard a little about DIY hybrids and i would like to know more. The 2010 Corolla S and 2010 Prius share the same gas motor, so could the corolla become a prius-like hybrid?
if there is any websites that sell parts for this type of thing i would love to know what they are. if there is any step by step processes out there i would love to see it.

the extent of my understanding is that i would need to add a large electric motor, a battery pack and a controller. i know there is much more than just that so could you guys help me?

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Old 08-20-2009, 03:44 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Build a trailer that will drive with EV power, put a small hitch on your car, then when you're going to be on the highway for a long time, use the trailer to push you along (at least partially) so that you're using less fuel for the same speed. It's simpler than trying to dig into your (still under warranty) car and modify things that aren't easily reversed.

An EV pusher trailer also means that you don't have to keep pulling the extra weight around when you don't need it, and can be shaped to give you some aerodynamic advantages as well.
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Old 08-20-2009, 09:21 AM   #3 (permalink)
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The Prius and Corolla engine may be similar, but they are far from the same engine. The older Prius engine was based off the Echo/Yaris 1.5L, but again it was quite a bit different. The hybrid system adds a ton of complexity to the drivetrain.

DIY hybrids are not an easy undertaking (thus the lack of them actually being done). I believe I have only seen one conversion and that is coyotex's Geo Metro conversion that is documented here. I'd check that out as a place to start getting ideas.

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Last edited by Daox; 08-20-2009 at 09:32 AM..
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Old 08-20-2009, 11:05 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I'll echo what Daox says: there's no easy way to make your car into a hybrid. The Poulsen hybrid bolt-on kit (search for details) - probably the simplest approach - isn't available yet. Otherwise, you're in for a serious amount of work/fabrication.

Just out of curiosity, did you consider buying a used 2nd generation Prius instead of the Corolla S? (I ask about used because it would have been closer to the price of the new Corolla.)

It would have saved you some head-scratching on how to convert your car into a hybrid!

FYI, a significant chunk of hybrids' fuel consumption superiority in urban driving (for the typical driver) has less to do with the electric motor than with the engine's automatic stop/start behaviour. Once up to operating temperature (and depending on a few other factors), the engine in most hybrids is OFF unless it's actively being used to propel the car - it stops running whenever you release the accelerator when coasting or sitting at a stop.

You can do some of that yourself with the ignition key in your Corolla. (With caveats about increased starter / battery wear, and fewer opportunities for coasting because yours is an automatic.)
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Old 08-20-2009, 12:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Very true Darin. The many features of the Prius all work together to get the FE gain. Its not nearly all just from the motor/battery combo. There is the aerodynamics of it, the atkinson cycle engine, the coolant thermos (or exhaust heat exchanger on the 2010), the automatic start/stop (which can be done on conventional engines), the cvt transmission. It all adds up.

One could theoretically build a pretty fuel efficient car using most of these features minus the hybrid drivetrain. Will you see an OEM do this? Kind of. GM has its XFE models that are tweaked for better mileage. But generally the OEMs seem to limit their FE tweaks on other vehicles in an effort to sell more hybrids IMO.
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Old 08-20-2009, 01:22 PM   #6 (permalink)
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My highway fuel economy is only slightly above the EPA rating, but my city fuel economy is much higher than EPA. This is due almost entirely to driving style - DWB, coast in neutral, leave a minute earlier and don't be in a hurry. Drastic weight reduction helps enormously, as well.

If you happen upon a wrecked Prius, then by all means, put its drivetrain to use. But if not, there are far less expensive and less difficult methods that you should use before going hybrid.
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Old 08-20-2009, 02:46 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I see Daox's conventional Paseo, and right under it his Prius. And then I see his mileage numbers, and I think maybe selling the Prius to buy another Paseo and materials for aeromods would be time and money well spent.

Seriously, is a hybrid really what you want to achieve? Could a vehicle kept aside as just an in-city runabout do the job better? Hold the Corolla for long freeway rides, where it shines.
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Old 08-22-2009, 11:44 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elhigh View Post
Seriously, is a hybrid really what you want to achieve? Could a vehicle kept aside as just an in-city runabout do the job better? Hold the Corolla for long freeway rides, where it shines.

thats a good excuse to get an EV right there
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Old 08-22-2009, 11:51 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Or a bike... or an e-trike with a trunk.

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