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Hello guys!

I have been pondering lately about the possibility of installing an auxiliary electric motor onto my Toyota Hilux ute.

I don't want to partake in a full EV conversion as this wouldn't be practical for me as this is my primary transport and need it for 4wding and long camping trips etc... so I was thinking of other ways to increase fuel economy. The obvious choice would be to install a lpg system, but where is the fun in that right??

Here are my thoughts....

I would look at installing an auxiliary motor under the hood in the size range of 10-15kw, this motor would reduce the load on the primary ICE by providing driving force through the serpentine fan belt (need a reality check here on how much torque can be translated through a serpentine belt) and in doing so reduce the quantity of fuel required to maintain a certain speed. The battery pack would be in the order of maybe 13KWh so at 80% DOD we have a usable ~10KWh which is a decent little run around trip maybe 60 or so km?, I mostly use the car for small trips here and there in the city.

The process of driving somewhere would involve driving as per usual with the ICE running, a microcontroller would monitor the injector pulse width in order to understand the loading on the motor, as the pulse width increases the electric motor supplies an increase in torque in order to attempt to reduce the amount of loading on the ICE. If the torque required to accelerate the car is less than what the electric motor can produce then the ICE will remain close to idle fuel consumption and the electric motor will be providing the majority of propulsion. If the torque required is more than the electric motor can provide then the ICE will simply use more fuel to accelerate the car quicker, this would provide a seamless transition from economical driving to hard acceleration. In the case of the battery pack being depleted, the motor would simply be disconnected and act as a minimal (although measurable) load on the ICE.

I have been reading around and saw a figure somewhere that a standard Ford Falcon requires 13kw or so of power to maintain a speed of 100kmh, so I thought well that's a a good starting point in terms of the size of motor, ideally the motor would be able to provide the power required to sustain 100kmh which would reduce the fuel consumption from 15 litres per 100km down to a fairly small value. Although the car would still use petrol every time you drive it I hope to achieve a consumption fairly close to idle.

For motor types I am pretty set on using an AC motor for torque characteristics and possibly regen braking later on down the track, the only issue comes down to producing a scalable model setup that I can prove the system prior to lashing out and spending 4-5k on a nice battery bank plus all the other fruit. I have thoughts of rewinding a 3 phase induction motor to accept a much lower voltage, therefore a significantly smaller battery bank is required however a low voltage industrial inverter would be rather hard to find, I really didn't want to build my own inverter but if I need to I will. I am pretty set on using vector control for the motor for improved efficiency reasons and torque at low speed.

Any way I thought I would just put my idea out there as a lot of people on the forum here have vast amounts of knowledge in EV conversions so they might be able to pick up something ridiculously obvious that I can't see.

Thanks very much!

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