A Melbourne university student, Alexander Burton, has been awarded a prestigious design award for his invention of a ‘plug-and-play’ electric motor that has the potential to convert any petrol or diesel car into a hybrid vehicle. The device, known as the Rapid Electric Vehicle Retrofit (REVR), aims to reduce emissions and deliver fuel savings. Initially designed to be fitted to Burton’s 20-year-old Toyota Corolla, the REVR kit consists of an axial flux motor that is mounted around the car’s brake disc.

Unlike typical plug-in hybrid vehicles, such as the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, that use electric motors on the front and rear axles to supplement the petrol engine’s power, the REVR kit attaches the electric motor energy to a battery pack, which can be mounted in a spare wheel well. The motor’s power is controlled by a sensor on the car’s accelerator pedal. Burton claims that the REVR kit could enable a car to travel up to 150km on electric power alone.

Originally a passion project to reduce his own car’s fuel consumption and emissions, Burton began taking his invention seriously when he discovered the James Dyson Award, a design competition named after the creator of Dyson vacuums. The REVR kit has been announced as the Australian winner of the award, earning Burton $8800, which he intends to use to create a fully functional kit with the hope of commercializing the technology in the future.

The design will also be considered for the international James Dyson Award, with shortlisted inventions to be announced on October 18 and a winner selected on November 15.

This innovative electric motor has the potential to revolutionize the automotive industry by providing a cost-effective solution to transform existing petrol or diesel cars into hybrids. By reducing emissions and delivering fuel savings, the REVR kit offers a sustainable approach to improving the environmental impact of conventional vehicles.

– Australian Associated Press (AAP) journalist Jennifer Dudley-Nicholson via The Driven:
– Jordan Mulach: