Convert Your Gas-Guzzler to a Hybrid
Source: alt transport, Ami Cholia (3/21/11)
"A hybrid conversion kit can make your car 30% more fuel efficient."
With gas prices rising on a weekly basis, it would be great to convert your gas-guzzling car into a hybrid. Now a Massachusetts-based company has developed a hybrid conversion kit that can make your car 30% more fuel efficient.
The company—XL Hybrids—is testing the system on the ubiquitous Ford Crown Victoria and a Lincoln Town Car limousine and has found that the kit increased the efficiency of the vehicles from 13–15 MPG to about 20 MPG. The way this works—a small lithium-ion battery that's placed in the trunk of the car, provides power to a 20-horsepower electric motor. The motor bolts on to the differential and assists in driving the rear wheels. The electric motor, though, is not used to drive the wheels alone, but provides a boost during acceleration, taking some load off the engine.
Considering both the Ford Crown Victoria and its cousin, the Lincoln Town Car, are widely used in several parts of the country, the kit gives these awful gas-guzzlers a much-needed boost. The bolt-on hybrid conversion system takes around six hours to install and even keeps the factory warranty on the vehicle.
XL Hybrids says that the system would pay for itself within 24 months. The company is targeting larger fleets—and because the Town Car shares many components with Ford vehicles, the product could be tweaked to fit into other cars.
This doesn’t make your car a pure hybrid—but anything that makes it more fuel efficient is worth looking into.
The biggest advantage of the kit is that it's making cars that are already owned by fleet operators more fuel efficient. Investing in a new set of cars is very expensive for most operators—this provides them with a much cheaper alternative.