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Making a hybrid car? Answered

In the early 70s Mother Earth news advertised a kit to make a hybrid car using a 5 horse engine to run an alternator that fed a battery bank which in turn ran an airplane engine starter motor coupled to the transmission shaft. Is that still viable? Or does anybody have that set of plans for sale?


I have a copy of those plans. I was given them by an attendee at the 2010 Mother Earth News Fair in Seven Springs, Pennsylvania, when I was giving a presentation on my electric car. The plans are 4 "blueprint" style pages, which fold out to rather large. Lately, I have been kicking around the idea of building a dedicated Hybrid Car, and did a search here on Instructables to see if anyone else had done one. That lead me to this page! I do NOT believe these plans are available anymore, but I did find source back to the original article on the Mother Earth News web page. They actually have a very good archive there! LINK TO MOTHER EARTH NEWS HYBRID CAR ARTICLE

t the end of the article, it lists where to send you money to get the plans, but I REALLY doubt they sell them any more.

Later, at the Mother Earth Fair, I met a guy who worked for Mother Earth News in that time period. He was actually on the team that did the work on the blue-prints!

I'm not interested in selling my copy, but if they are out of print, maybe making a "backup" copy, stored at a seperate location wouldn't be such a bad idea!

The plans that I have are called "Mother Shows You How to Build the 75 mpg Hybrid Electric Car", and the copyright is 1979.

Yes it's still viable but it's called the Prelude.

Hardly, the Prelude doesn't come close to the efficiency claimed by the designers. The one I saw was a Honda N600, the engine was removed while the bell housing and the transmission stayed in placed. A splined coupling was placed over the transmission shaft, the other end was slipped over the output shaft of a DC10 engine starter motor. That starter motor has a lot of horse power and is pure electric. Next 6 batteries were loaded into the engine compartment. A 5 horse Tecumsah engine was put under the hood that was connected to a high output alternator via a drive belt. It seemed odd to start your car with a pull rope but once the 5 hp was up to speed the alternator fed the bank and the bank fed the DC10 motor. It could average upwards of 75 mpg but it does take a bit of machine work to accomplish, that and dealing with your car sounding like a lawn mower. Given the advances in home generating systems, key start, silencers and long run times can be had. I need the plans as I am unsure of the electrics within the system as originally plotted.

I meant the Prius. Didn't check my typing.