Monday, July 20, 2009

Q&A: Hydraulic Hybrid Systems

We frequently get questions about different aspects of LHI. I will be posting some of them here in the hopes that readers will find the info interesting or helpful.

Q: I have a few vehicles that I want to continue driving so I'm interested retrofit kits. Is your company considering selling retrofit kits for existing vehicles?

A. Yes, we are focusing our work right now on retrofits as there is a large market for them. Unfortunately each vehicle platform requires a slightly different retrofit in terms of controls so we are starting with a few trucks (Chevy Silverado type) and possible a larger passenger car (Dodge Charger) that are used in many fleets. We hope to have a broad spectrum of retrofits within a year.

Q. If retrofit kits are made available do the vehicles have to be rear wheel drive and will the gas economy improve?

A: The EPA's tests on hydraulic hybrid technology show a 40 to 60% improvement in fuel economy which comes from using the hydraulics for acceleration and stopping, where the internal combustion engine loses the most efficiency. The cars do not have to be rear-wheel drive as we can apply the retrofit to any vehicle differential(s). There is more info on our hydraulic hybrid system here. (Check the hydraulic hybrid links for a written description of the retrofit, a diagram, and information about fuel savings and return on investment.)

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