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USA: Tennessee researcher changing the face of fuel economy

A group of Tennessee researchers and graduate students are changing the face of fuel economy. They are designing a unique, plug-in hybrid retrofit kit that works on any vehicle on the road, potentially saving those who make the investment 50-100 percent on in town fuel costs.

The system is compact using electromagnets which fit between the back wheels and the brakes. Dr. Charles Perry at Middle Tennessee State University has built a prototype from a decade-old Honda Accord which he has converted to a fuel-efficient hybrid vehicle.

“It’s a relatively low powered solution — just for use in town” Perry said. “Low power means lower cost, lower components and batteries that don’t have to be as big. The controllers don’t have to be so robust — all of that gives us low cost and simplicity which we think will give us an edge in the market.”

Perry says other inventors have come up with similar solutions but they’ve been expensive and force mechanics to alter the car. His solution is completely unique. It doesn’t change anything about the vehicle. The electromagnetic magnets are placed in the brake system and the battery pack sits in the trunk of the car. It’s the first of a kind


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