This unique electric motor – which could turn almost any petrol or diesel car into a hybrid – has won a prestigious design award, and might be available to buy in the future.
A Melbourne university student has won a prestigious award for inventing a ‘plug-and-play’ electric motor which could be attached to any petrol or diesel car – reducing emissions and delivering fuel savings.
Australian Associated Press (AAP) journalist Jennifer Dudley-Nicholson – through electric-car publication The Driven – reports the device was invented by 21-year-old Alexander Burton, who is currently studying sustainable systems engineering and industry design at Melbourne’s RMIT University.
Mr Burton’s creation is called the Rapid Electric Vehicle Retrofit (or REVR, for short) and was initially designed to be fitted to his 20-year-old Toyota Corolla.
While a typical plug-in hybrid vehicle – such as the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV – uses electric motors on the front and rear axles to supplement the petrol engine’s power, the REVR kit consists of an axial flux motor which is mounted around the car’s brake disc.
The electric motor energy is supplied by a battery pack which can be mounted in a spare wheel well, while the motor’s power is controlled by a sensor on the car’s accelerator pedal.
Mr Burton claims the REVR kit could allow a car to travel for up to 150km on solely electric power – a bold claim, given the aforementioned Outlander PHEV has a claimed electric-only driving range of 84km.
Despite originally coming up with the REVR as a “passion project” to reduce his Corolla’s fuel consumption and emissions, Mr Burton reportedly started to take the invention seriously when he found out about the James Dyson Award – named after the creator of Dyson vacuums.
Earlier this week, REVR was announced as the Australian winner of the design competition, earning Mr Burton $8800 – or enough for about 4500 litres of 91-octane unleaded petrol at current prices.
However, the young inventor instead told AAP he will use the funds to create a “fully functional kit”, with hopes to one day commercialise REVR.
The design will also be in the running to be shortlisted for the international James Dyson Award, with shortlisted inventions due to be announced on October 18 before the winner is chosen on November 15.
Jordan Mulach is Canberra/Ngunnawal born, currently residing in Brisbane/Turrbal. Joining the Drive team in 2022, Jordan has previously worked for Auto Action, MotorsportM8, The Supercars Collective and TouringCarTimes, WhichCar, Wheels, Motor and Street Machine. Jordan is a self-described iRacing addict and can be found on weekends either behind the wheel of his Octavia RS or swearing at his ZH Fairlane.
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Copyright 2023ABN: 84 116 608 158
Copyright 2023ABN: 84 116 608 158
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