Start-Up Claims to Convert Any Car into a Hybrid

Posted: May 8, 2008

Would you be interested in converting your existing car into a plug-in hybrid?  A Connecticut start-up claims it is developing a system that will do just that -- for a little under $4,000.

Autoblog Green says that Poulsen Hybrid's "general idea is to take an existing ICE car and convert it to a plug-in electric hybrid with mileage in the 100 mpg range. The system adds two Poulsen Hybrid electric motors that use rare earth permanent magnets and are rated at 5kW or 7hp onto the outside of your car and then adds a 72V 120Ah Deep Cycle Lead Acid battery pack (with six batteries inside) and an onboard charger to the vehicle." 

Orange Hues says the system is "essentially a couple of rear wheel hub motors which can be installed in any conventional car to convert it into a plug-in hybrid, increasing its mileage significantly." 

In a press release, Poulsen Hybrid says that system will work "equally well with rear- and all wheel drive vehicles, gasoline or diesel fueled."  It "does not touch existing brake, steering and suspension systems. The system will be available in kit form and can be owner installed in 3-4 hours. Conversions will also be offered through dealerships and a planned network of authorized installers."  They quote the expected price of the kit itself at $3,300, and the conversion process at $600.

Poulsen is competing for the Auto X Prize, and in an audio interview available on podomatic, founder Ulrik Poulsen claims the system may be available for purchase by June, 2008.

Until then, research the best hybrid cars on the current market with U.S. News' car rankings and reviews.