80 percent of U.S. drivers make daily trips of less than 30 miles at 40 miles per hour or slower, all of which could be powered by a retrofit kit that costs as little as $3000 to turn any gasoline powered vehicle into an electric hybrid. Four 10-15 horsepower electric motors--one for each wheel--could cut double the gas mileage on most cars, and save as much as 120 million gallons of fuel per day in the U.S. alone, and as much as 600 million gallons per day worldwide. Look for most cars and trucks to start using this invention by 2012. R.C.J.
A former IBM electrical engineer has designed this retrofit kit that he claims can transform existing automobiles into hybrids by placing an electric motor inside each wheel, thereby doubling gas mileage. The motors would be powered by extra batteries installed in the automobile's trunk. Charles Perry, a former IBM product development researcher, recently received first prize for his invention at a green energy competition at the Tennessee Technology Development Corp. The patent pending Plug-in Hybrid Retrofit Kit will be developed into a commercial product by Palmer Labs LLC (Reston, Va.). Perry and associates hope to market the retrofit kit directly to consumers, who can install it themselves, as well as to shops who would do the installation fo you. The also hope to sell the kit wholesale to car dealers and even car manufacturers, so that when you buy a car you can add the "hybrid option" to your new or used vehicle.