can normal vehicles be converted to electric hybrid?

can normal vehicles be converted to electric hybrid?

there are a lot of systems which convert normal cars to electric hybrids.
my questions are:
1.are conversions possible if so feasible?
2. what are the problems that comes with conversions?
3.what are the components that consitute such systems?

VolkerP | 23 augustus 2011


1. conversions are possible for experts in that area. Check out ALTe website: Feasibility: there are technical and financial limits to converting an arbitrary car.
2. I can imagine a wide range of problems. You cannot do it yourself, lack of components and/or engineering skills. You can have someone else do it, but the cost is prohibitive, or the result does not perform as wished.
3. Any hybrid drive train features ICE, fuel tank, gear box, electric, generator/motor, power control unit, battery. Different concepts of separating or combining components are named serial hybrid, parallel hybrid, micro-hybrid, and so on.

Could you please point out your subject in greater detail?
Answers to your questions will either be common place statements or rather longish without that.

sivaramakh | 23 augustus 2011

can there be a universal system which can convert the a same model to hybrids which can be purchased and installed and the system is different for different car models.

VolkerP | 24 augustus 2011


I understand your question like this:
* you ask for aftermarket hybrid component kits.
* kits are specific for a car model to retrofit.
* the kits are for sale and retrofitting is do-it-yourself.
* all kits are designed following a general concept, some components are shared between all kits (e.g. power controller, firmware)

I am by no way an expert in hybrid conversion. But here are some observations:
I understand that several companies do hybrid conversions for ICE cars.
ALTe focuses on fleets of light duty/delivery vehicles.

My conclusions:
Conversions are done by the company that produces the kit. They don't sell the kits for DIY. Probably the kits are only 95% standardized + 5% individual adaption for which you cannot provide the parts and a printed manual.
Focusing on a specific class of vehicles helps to spread kit development costs on a larger number of kits. Looks like designing a kit for a car model is an expensive thing.
ALTe picking fleets of light duty/delivery vehicles indicates to me, the limitations of that conversion (weight, range, speed, cost) would not satisfy private consumers. But they are attractive for a fleet operator who looks into its total cost of ownership and doesn't go for a "great driving experience".

That said, I assume nobody soon will enter the market for hybrid conversion kits with a decently priced set of kits suitable for a large number of car models. Development costs and cost of individual parts (especially battery) seem prohibitive.

Vawlkus | 24 augustus 2011

It's easier to just do a complete electric conversion. With Hybrid you're introducing a HELLUVA lot of complexity to an already complex system. Just going pure electric is a lot more simpler, although it's still not something everybody can do.
They've got a bunch of pictures on that sight of a EV conversion done to a 2005 Ford Ranger. That'll give you an idea of what you're asking.

sivaramakh | 24 augustus 2011

i can understand that the batteries are costly but other than that.the motors and control unit can be cheap and hence the overall cost of hybrid will be 1/4 other car cost rite...

and abt complexity ,what constitute this complexity the control circuits?

David70 | 24 augustus 2011

Even with an experienced professional doing a conversion to pure electric, it can be troublesome.

Daniel1948 had such a conversion done to a Porsche and ran into a great many problems. It took over a year longer than promised, and even then he had to have a second person work on it for at least several months more. By then he had purchased his Roadster.

As already mentioned, attempting to even convert to an HEV would be a much more formidable task.

Vawlkus | 25 augustus 2011

The control circuits are fairly straight forward, if tricky to balance (which engine gets used when, how to handle sudden cutouts of one engine, fueling concerns, etc). It's the drivetrain modifications that are the major headache.

A hybrid has two sources of motive power: the gas engine and the electric motor. Both of these have to be connected to the drivetrain so that they can move the car, HOWEVER, they can't be connected simultaneously, otherwise each motor is not only moving the car, but also forcing the other engine to move as well. That connection to the drivetrain also has to be able to withstand the torque of either motor or engine when it's moving the car, including uphill (increased strain) or when there is extra weight in the car (4 people + camping supplies instead of 1 person for example).

The drivetrain in any standard car is designed to accept only 1 motor or engine at a time. Trying to have two in there is just begging for the thing to break each time you apply power to it.

Timo | 25 augustus 2011

It could be possible to make a hybrid where electric engine runs the front wheels and ICE the rear wheels (but that too requires building at least one drivetrain from scratch). Both engines provide torque to the wheels, so it wouldn't matter if they get a bit different torque amounts as long as they both give zero torque at zero accelerator setting (coasting). You lose ability to get regen braking with that, but it would be doable.

VolkerP | 25 augustus 2011


this concept is known as through-the-road hybrid.
As long as the wheels turn, the electric motors can operate as generators and charge the battery. Thus, regen should be possible. If siva seeks an universal, easy-to-implement design, this should qualify.

sivaramakh | 25 augustus 2011


so we can say that ICE can be converted to a hybrid if the motor is coupled to the front if ICE is to rear(vice versa)plus we need to have a new drive train for the electric motor rite...

so if a system exist with above conditions and can it be feasible and
what else do we require to complete the above system?
what type of controllers,power electronic devices etc can be used?

Vawlkus | 26 augustus 2011

It's possable, not feasible.
Economical? HELL NO.

Brian H | 27 augustus 2011

feasible - "adj. - Capable of being done with means at hand and circumstances as they are."
possible - "adj. - Capable of happening or existing."

So you're saying it could be done, but siva isn't capable of pulling it off?

Economical depends on comparison; cheaper than buying a new Roadster or S -probably. Cheaper than a second-hand Leaf, maybe not.

Ramon123 | 27 augustus 2011

There were at least two systems that I can remember that were offered
or proposed : one put a battery in the trunk and powered two electric motors, one on each rear wheel. It was an assist and could maintain a cruising speed on level terrain. The other put an electric drive in a series with the drivetrain and provided a similar assist.
Neither was cheap, as I recall.
I would never attempt to create a hybrid. Much simpler to rip out
power train and install batteries and motor. Getting the electric controls for such a system is fairly easy. Motors vary widely in price. Average Joe could manage to do it, perhaps with a little helpful advice.

sivaramakh | 28 augustus 2011

why cant we install an electric kit which can be an replacement of CNG kit in a car .then will it be economical....

Timo | 28 augustus 2011

Compressed natural gas? Completely different technologies.