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hellcats 07-11-2011 06:17 PM

Urban Electric Assist
I'm still a relative newbie to hypermiling, but one observation I've made since installing an UltraGauge is that urban driving kills avg. MPG. I can get about 44 MPG on the highway (EPA 32) in my Nissan Versa, but helplessly watch the avg. drop when driving around town and in traffic. I posted a question asking for driving techniques to minimize the impact (and got lots of great suggestions, thnks to everyone who responded), and I now get around 30 MPG in town; but I want more dang it!

So I wonder if anyone has thought about a hybrid electric conversion, but optimized for urban conditions. It would help with acceleration at low speeds, and possibly include regenerative braking. The idea is to have just enough electric assist to keep MPG up during urban driving conditions without a lot of extra weight that would hurt overall MPG.

I've cursorily looked at both the Poulson Hyrbrid and NetGain's EMIS system, but both are too expensive to be worth it on a Versa. Anyone thought about this before?

Ryland 07-11-2011 11:42 PM

That is the idea behind the Prius Plug-in and the plug in kits, but even tho they are a retro fit to a vehicle that already has an electric motor they are rather costly.
Most likely the simplest way to add on a hybrid is with something like a pusher trailer, or the drop down drive wheel like has been done on the honda insignt.
Adding hybrid to a front wheel drive vehicle in any other way is going to be pretty hard because you have very limited space to add a motor in.

CFECO 07-12-2011 11:43 AM

This an idea I've been working on for some time, sell a kit which adds a motor and battery bank to 4x4 trucks, the most in need of help after all! Plus they have a front drive axle available for a place to mount the motor to. Aside from some regen braking, there should to be a way to "Outside charge " the batteries, as in, plug in at night to house current, solar panels, etc., otherwise you are using the ICE engine to charge the batteries, which drives the motor to move the car, when it's just more efficient to have the ICE drive the car directly. A small high efficiency APU running at a constant speed just to charge with might work, but I have not found one. On my car I was building for the Auto X-Prize, I was going to use the waste heat from the ICE's ( there were two engines) to power the alternator.

Phantom 07-12-2011 12:25 PM

Check the post

02Sunfire 07-13-2011 09:09 PM

A few years ago I thought up an idea for adding a rear-drive axle and electric motor to a front-wheel-drive car, but I've never had the opportunity to put it into practice. It would literally just be to "push" the car up to 20mph or so and then go neutral to let the gas engine take over while cruising.

The extra weight could reduce highway economy though...?

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