Chicago Company Offers Hybrid Conversions

Chicago based company, NetGain, create and fit plug-in hybrid conversion kits for trucks. They are also working on kits for smaller cars, which will be available in 2-3 years. NetGain employee, David Cloud, shows us how it all works in this not so in-depth piece from Fox News. Apparently the kit can improve the efficiency of a standard panel truck by 20-30%. This is a large percentage rise, but when you consider that these things only tend to get 6-7mpg in the first place, then it doesn't seem like such a large improvement. Under normal cuircumstances, the gas engine provides all the power - the electric motor only kicks in when the truck is accelerating, which is the moment when the engine is at its least economical. The savings in fuel costs should pay for the initial cost of the unit, as well as fitting costs, in 2-3 years according to Cloud. Several companies, such as Safeway are funning truck fleets on bio-diesel. The initial cost is far lower for this technology, but there is obviously still some controversy surrounding the use of bio-diesel. One of the companies previous projects, the eBug, is shown below. ::NetGain


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