Many of us wish we could afford to buy a new hybrid or electric car, but until we get that promotion/new job/win the lottery, we’re stuck with our gas-guzzlers. Now a Massachusetts-based company called XL Hybrids has found a solution — they’ve developed an add-on kit that can transform any gas-guzzling car into a hybrid, reducing fuel consumption by up to 30 percent!
Using a Ford Crown Victoria and a Lincoln Town Car limousine as test subjects, XL Hybirds were able to install a 20 horsepower electric motor that increased the V8 engines’ fuel efficiency from 13-15 miles to the gallon to around 20 miles. The system is linked to the differential (in rear wheel drive systems), and it works by providing an electric boost during acceleration that takes the strain off a vehicle’s gas engine. As many of you know, acceleration is the part of driving that consumes the most fuel.
The system uses a small, lightweight Li-Ion battery which is installed in the trunk. On top of that, the electric system charges itself through the gasoline engine as well as through regenerative braking.
Now, it’s not strictly a hybrid, but the electric engine does lower fuel consumption. In that aspect, it’s sort of a semi-hybrid. According to XL Hybrids, the add-on conversion can be done on any car, and the entire six-hour operation is estimated to pay for itself in 24 months.