Massachusetts-Based Company Converts Gas-Guzzling Cars to Hybrids With Simple Add-on

An add-on to your old gas-guzzling gasoline car could enhance its fuel consumption by as much as 30 percent. The company that operates such upgrades is called XL Hybrids, and they’re from Massachusetts.

The first vehicles that they focused on were the Ford Crown Victoria and the Lincoln Town Car limousine, both having fuel-sipping V8 engines that only get 13 to 15 miles to the gallon.

The “bolt-on” that XL Hybrids applies to the cars is actually a 20 horsepower electric motor linked to the differential (for rwd systems) that releases part of the duty the gasoline engine has to do when catching speed from a full stop (the part of the driving that consumes most fuel).

A small Li-Ion battery is installed in the trunk and its weight is negligible compared to the weight of the car or the fuel it saves. Naturally, the electric system charges itself from the gasoline engine, and may even feature regenerative braking, so this is essentially what we may call “a mild hybrid.” The only thing you have to change from time to time is a rubber belt.

Seeing how gasoline prices develop, I see no impediment to various companies doing the same job to appear on the market and provide hybridization services to any type of car. What’s even more interesting is that the entire operation can be done in about six hours and will pay for itself in about two years.

[via gas2]


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