The car hybridizing project

Craig Carmichael

The goal: a car accessory system that mounts on the outside of a car wheel that lets you drive the car either on electricity with the key on “ACC” or on gas as usual, turning the car into a sort of a plug-in electric hybrid. I’m doing this system as “open technology” — no patents. I started Jan. 2008.

The components of the system are:

  • An axial flux “pancake” electric motor DIYers can make at home with “off the shelf” parts.
  • A matching motor controller that’s an easy home electronics project
  • A mechanical torque converter that optimally “gears” the motor to the car wheel
  • A coupling link that lets the motor pivot when the wheel hit a bump to retain good handling.
  • Just two controls at the front of the car: a rheostat under the gas pedal and an OFF-FORWARD-REVERSE switch.
  • The system is only 36 volts for electrical safety.
  • Better chemistry batteries with higher energy and “home production” methods for making them.
  • Failing better batteries, the system can run with under 300 pounds of lead-acid batteries.
  • A simple way to make lead-acid batteries last 4x longer.

What’s done so far:

  • The motor works great and is up to about version 3.0 if versions were being tracked.
  • The motor controller works well, but needs some modification owing to the main chip suddenly becoming “obsolete” soon after it was chosen and purchased.
  • Nickel-manganese batteries with better energy density (2 volt cells of 150+ WH/Kg versus 80-120 WH/Kg available today) and the chemistry and most of the design and construction techniques appear to be working.
  • The mechanical torque converter isn’t working well enough. It’s been holding things up for a year. A new design is about to be made and tried. The first mechanical torque converter was made and replaced a car transmission and clutch in 1923, using 1/2 the gas. It isn’t suitable for the wheel motor layout, hence the need for a different design.

The potential: Turn 250 million cars into plug-in hybrids. 100 billion dollars in Canada alone, of various potential business opportunities for small businesses everywhere to make the various components and install them, without involving the big corrupt special interests, who are not on our side.

About Craig Carmichael:

Craig Carmichael is one of Canada’s most experienced inventors, since 2008 tackling several renewable energy, energy storage and electric transport projects concurrently.

I’m sometimes a researcher. I’ve been studying worlds of our solar system whenever data becomes available with special interest in the moons — and planets bigger than Mercury — that orbit Jupiter and Saturn. I have followed Galileo, Huygens and Cassini missions with great attention and have come to see what I feel is the ‘big picture’ of the surface of Titan and several other worlds, avoiding errors of narrow and uncorrelated interpretation of data that space scientists have fallen victim to.

2010 IdeaWave