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.


The new 5.7-liter HEMI Hybrid is expected to deliver an overall fuel economy improvement of more than 25 percent, including an improvement of nearly 40 percent in the city.

The Peugeot diesel hybrid promises to average better than 70mpg and have the lowest carbon-dioxide emissions of any car other than a pure electric.

Chrysler intends to focus its gas-electric hybrid system on SUVs, though it is not ruling out cars in the future. Pictured is Two-Mode hybrid transmission co-developed with GM and BMW.


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