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MIRA Develops 'Plug-Less' Plug-In Hybrid Retro-fit

The 50/50 hybrid derives power jointly from the Fabia’s 60Kw petrol engine and two 35KW inboard motors powering the FWD car’s rear wheels though MIRA's ‘e-differential’. Photo: Skoda Fabia.

Published: 25-Apr-2008

MIRA (aka Motor Industry Research Association) has unveiled a retro-fit hybrid conversion with the potential to save 61% on a petrol vehicle’s fuel costs and lower tailpipe emissions by 39%. The ‘H4V’ hybrid conversion with a removable, 22Kg lithium-ion phosphate battery pack is shown in a technology demonstrator built around a Skoda Fabia with funding from the Energy Saving Trust's Low Carbon R&D programme.

Derek Charters, MIRA's Advanced Powertrain Manager says: "With this project we’ve removed the primary limitation of the “plug-in hybrid” concept by allowing the battery pack to come to the mains, rather than having to park right next to a socket ... which is more than a little difficult if you live in a terraced house or flat."

He explains further: "MIRA’s hybrid vision is to lower tailpipe emissions and deliver better fuel efficiency than an equivalent diesel, at a diesel-level on-cost.” (Of circa £2,000, assuming optimized production on a commercial scale.) MIRA plans to apply the lessons learned in the development of this concept demonstrator to other, more commercially-oriented hybrid projects which will lead to new hybrid models in the next year or two.

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