Converting a samurai to a hybrid?

Okay this is a proposed hobby project just to see if I can make it work. I have an 86 Susuki Samarai 4X4. It averages about 30 miles to the gallon. Wondering about rigging a electric drive from a cushman or taylor dunn to the rear differential, and mounting the batteris in the back. My idea was to use the gas engine to get to normal cruise speeds of 40 to 50 miles an hour. Primarily used in a country road setting and after attaining desired speeds shift to neutral and toggle switch electric drive on using a potentiometer for speed adjustment. Thinking of using gas engine in a slightly high idle while cruising to put voltage back into batteries. This is just a little truck that I have had for years and thought it would be fun to try it. Any detractors or encourment is welcome. I can handle it.

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  • 6 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    You want to make a hybrid but you are starting out in the wrong direction.

    Electric motors are known for their initial high torque. They are generally 4 to 6 times more efficient than an internal combustion engine (ICE) and more than this at starting the vehicle from a standstill so you want to use the electric drive to start the car and in stop and go traffic.

    The electric motor is efficient but batteries only contain a fraction of the energy as gasoline so you want to use the electric motor when it is best but then use the ICE at its most efficient setting and this is traveling at a constant speed over longer distances.

    And this is a perfect description of how a hybrid like the prius will operate to get the most fuel efficiency.

    Alternatively you could configure your hybrid to run in a series so that the ICE will run at a constant speed to power a generator which then provides the electricity to the electric motor that drives the car at all times. This is the configuration you will find in diesel electric locomotives for over 80 years and more recently the Volt.

    You will find that you don't have to "reinvent the wheel" as there are shops that will sell electric motors, motor controllers and battery managements systems/chargers for electric vehicles.

  • Ben O
    Lv 6
    6 years ago

    Ok, you want to use the electric motor to drive the wheels while you are cruising and you want to use the gasoline motor to charge the batteries while you are cruising. If you do that it's going to make your fuel economy worse which will defeat the whole purpose of building a hybrid.

    As "Breath" mentioned, cars like the prius work differently. Electric motor is used for starting and accelerating, battery is recharged during cruising and braking.

    You need to charge the batteries when you are not using the electric motor. Using the electic motor and charging the batteries at the same time is actually going to make fuel economy worse.

  • John W
    Lv 7
    6 years ago

    Try finding electric hub motors, that way you don't need a differential, the wheels become the motors. But use electricity to get up to speed then cruise on gas, recharging the batteries.

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