A breakthrough invention by a Melbourne university student could revolutionize the automotive world by converting petrol and diesel vehicles into hybrids. This pioneering electric motor has not only captured attention but also clinched a renowned design accolade.
The groundbreaking ‘plug-and-play’ electric motor, conceived to retrofit any standard petrol or diesel car, promises reduced emissions and substantial fuel savings. This invention is the brainchild of Alexander Burton, a 21-year-old student of sustainable systems engineering and industry design at RMIT University in Melbourne.
Christened as the Rapid Electric Vehicle Retrofit (REVR), this device was initially tailored for Burton’s two-decade-old Toyota Corolla. Unlike conventional plug-in hybrids such as the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, which employ electric motors on both axles to support the petrol engine, the REVR setup features an axial flux motor that envelops the vehicle’s brake disc. This electric motor sources its power from a battery pack strategically placed in the car’s spare wheel bay. The motor’s operations are managed through a sensor linked to the car’s accelerator pedal.
Burton boasts that the REVR kit could potentially empower a vehicle to cover distances up to 150km solely on electric power. It’s a claim that certainly raises eyebrows, especially when one considers that the aforementioned Outlander PHEV advertises an electric-only range of merely 84km.
Though REVR initially sprouted as a “passion project” to diminish his Corolla’s carbon footprint and fuel usage, Burton’s fervor amplified upon discovering the James Dyson Award, an accolade instituted in honor of the Dyson vacuum’s founder. Recently, Burton’s REVR was honored as the Australian champion of this design contest, pocketing a prize of $8800 for Burton. While this sum could buy approximately 4500 liters of 91-octane unleaded petrol given today’s rates, Burton conveyed to AAP his intention to channel these funds towards crafting a “fully operational kit”. He aspires to eventually launch REVR in the market.
Furthermore, this design is set to contend for the global James Dyson Award. Nominees for this esteemed honor will be unveiled on October 18, with the final victor being announced on November 15.
About the James Dyson Award
Is an esteemed international design competition that recognizes, encourages, and inspires the next generation of design engineers. Established by James Dyson, the ingenious mind behind Dyson vacuums, the award is an avenue for budding inventors to showcase their innovations to the world. It celebrates designs that display exceptional problem-solving capabilities, making life simpler and better. Every year, the competition attracts a plethora of entries from all over the world, with the winner earning not just recognition but also a substantial cash prize to further their invention.