About the

Electric Hubcap Motor
  and Vehicle Drive System

   The Electric HubcapTM is a 5 KW electric motor add-on accessory to change fossil fuel vehicles into highly efficient plug-in electric hybrids that normally run on batteries, recharged by home electricity. The gas engine is turned on and put in gear on longer trips when the batteries have run down.

   This small size and light weight electric motor has the torque and power to drive a car using a small, low ratio planetary gear with low friction nylon "planet" gears as a transmission.

    
An earlier Prototype mounted on wheel.  -  A modern version of the motor.

   The Electric HubcapTM has important advantages over any other electric drive system.

   First, the old I.C.E. drive system and mechanics are unaffected. The vehicle can run on electricity, or on gasoline "as usual", to fulfill all driving needs including long trips, with less pollution, fossil fuel usage, and cost.
   Second, because it is the most efficient electric motor (~95% peak efficiency) with an efficient, lower RPM design, using a low friction nylon planetary gear (bypassing the regular inefficient transmission), it moves the car at least 50% more efficiently. Thus the electricity goes at least half again as far, minimizing the battery power required - and the impact on the electrical grid should people switch en masse.
   Third, the frugally used batteries need only power a typical day's driving, eg 30-50 Km - a few kilowatt-hours - beyond which the "regular" gas engine is used.
   I hope to put in optional "battery charge while driving" on gasoline, so on an extended highway trip one can alternate between periods of gasoline and electric driving, which I hope will reduce overall gasoline consumption somewhat, even beyond plug-in range.
    Fourth, the system is very simple to produce and capable of wide variation. It is about as easy to install as I can imagine is possible.

   Car wiring changes: The Electric Hubcap system needs to be enabled by the ignition key (on "Acc") to prevent theft and accidental vehicle movement, and either the turn signals et al must operate with the ignition key on "Acc". These changes are easily made by inserting link tabs into the fuse sockets, and will not affect normal gasoline operation.

   For those who rarely do extended highway travel, a gasoline additive to prevent the gasoline in the tank, fuel line and carburetor or injection system from "going stale" after six or more months may be advisable.

History

The Electric HubcapTM idea started out with discovery of the startling low-RPM power of the wave power unit's PMG generator, which led to the idea "How about supermagnets right on a car's wheels or axle, being pushed and pulled by electromagnets similar to the generator's to turn the wheel?" The monthly Turquoise Energy News progress reports show the gradual evolution of the products from these hazy ideas lacking in vital aspects into real, practical working products, with each vital need slowly being recognized, its function defined, and then refined as to component detail, generally through several improving designs.



Car pulling away driven by prototype Electric HubcapTM
on October 20th 2008, proving the direct drive concept works.
However, even with later motors, torque proved insufficient for practical driving,
so a planetary gear reduction triples the thrust.


System Components

   Of course, more than just a motor is required. Other vital drive components for this system include: the planetary gear, solid state brushless motor controller, gas pedal potentiometer, Fwd/Off/Rev switch, and of course batteries: 36 to 42 volts, a few kilowatt-hours. The three batteries in the picture are together about 1 KW-hr of high energy Nickel-Metal hydride dry cells.
   These components must also be installed. Two "arms" attached to the brake drum housing or the axle reach around the wheel, front and back, to hold the motor in place - the most difficult and exacting installation chore and a custom fit for each car model.


The vital drive components

   Related non-drive components include an electric heater/windshield defogger, a brake vacuum assist pump, and perhaps some status readouts with mileage, battery state, and so on. A NiMH car battery under the hood works better and lasts much longer than lead-acid. It can be charged from the main battery pack with a DC-DC converter, or if it is of sufficient size, it can simply be charged when the car is plugged in along with the main motor pack. Or of course it will recharge when the car is running on gas.