Going Retro

Dr. Charles Perry
Dr. Charles Perry

A retrofit wheel-hub motor developed at MTSU could cut gas consumption in half

MTSU has partnered with two Turkish universities to pursue groundbreaking automotive research and development surrounding plug-in hybrid technology developed by Dr. Charles Perry. MTSU has signed a letter of intent with Meliksah University and Firat University for an academic and industrial partnership to further develop Perry’s retrofit wheel-hub motor.

“Turkey is like the Detroit of Europe,” said Dr. Andrienne Friedli, director of the Center for Advancement of Research and Scholarship. “Many European automobile companies manufacture cars there, and because of the high price of gasoline, people 
in the region are already spending $1,000 to retrofit their cars to use cheaper fuels.”

Perry has gotten international attention for his technology, which has the potential to cut a vehicle’s fuel consumption by half or more by turning it into a hybrid powered by gasoline and electricity. Perry invented a novel method of converting a standard gasoline-powered vehicle into a plug-in hybrid that uses a combination of gas and electricity with minor alteration of the rear wheel hub.

A wheel-hub motor is just that — a motor attached,
 or retrofitted, into the rear wheel structure
 of a vehicle. Perry’s motor can be used on passenger cars, light trucks, and fleet vehicles to conserve fuel and reduce consumption as much as 50 percent. Perry said the competitive advantage of his new motor is that “we don’t cut, weld, or modify; we just bolt on this motor to the rear wheels of the vehicle.”

The motors provide electric traction to the vehicle from energy stored in a battery, thus reducing the amount of fuel used by the engine. The battery can be charged at an electrical outlet and is also charged during braking, when the wheel-hub motors are in regenerative mode.


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