Bolt-On DIY PHEV Conversion Coming?

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

The EV goldrush is on. Every frustrated inventor in the country is hyping his or her homemade EV kit. One of the most unconventional offerings recently featured at Green Car Congress. The Poulsen 'Through The Road" PHEV Conversion Kit features external, rear wheel-mounted electric motors which engage at cruising speeds to keep your conventional car rolling along without using the gas engine. Without going into too many boring technical details, once you accelerate normally to your cruising speed, you engage the system with a toggle switch and " potentiometers," sending 14hp to the rear wheels. Besides making your car look like it was recently booted, the Poulson Hybrid adds no fewer than six 12V lead-acid batteries– although a Li-Ion cell is supposed to be available later this year. Poulson is currently planning on building only 250 kits in the initial run, the majority of which are likely to be bought by the nerdier members of Ralph Nader's campaign supporters. Although we like the idea of bolt-on EV AWD in principle, this Hail Mary makes the Volt look like a done deal.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Kph Kph on Jul 22, 2008

    Isn't there a company in the UK that does this more discreetly? I think they manage to fit everything from the inside, through the trunk. Actually, I always thought that Subaru could just slap an electric RWD motor on an ICE FWD car and call it a AWD hybrid. Sounds easy to me, but don't know if that's practical to the manufacturers. And I guess Subaru is in bed with Toyota anyways.

  • Sammy Hagar Sammy Hagar on Jul 22, 2008

    Hmmm...makes that Jetta look like a young Forest Gump. BTW: What sort of warranty does Poulson offer (you know, since putting those stupid things on a car would instantly void the one from the vehicle manufacturer)?

  • Pixel Pixel on Jul 22, 2008

    There was an article somewhere on the breakdown in fuel savings vs cost on these and it came out negative. The lithium Ion kit would put you further behind $$ wise. I don't trust this conversion at all. Not the least of which because torque arm is attached to the *plastic* bumper via four *pop rivets*.

  • Capeplates Capeplates on Jul 23, 2008

    Initial reaction to the photo was that the vehicle had been clamped. It does nothing for the appearance of the car!