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Engineer Converts Tesla’s Model 3 Into Cheaper Hybrid

An engineer from Austria has recreated an even cheaper Model 3 by converting Tesla’s flagship electric vehicle into a hybrid by adding a two-cylinder gasoline engine and “downgrading” the battery pack.

Frank Obrist from Lustenau, Austria, founder of engineering company OBRIST Powertrain, wants to make EVs more affordable. OBRIST Powertrain claims that the hybrid Tesla would have twice the range compared to the fully electric vehicle as designed and manufactured by Tesla.

Obrist says that the Tesla Model 3 converted into a plug-in hybrid could have a range of more than 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) and it will be lighter than the original Model 3. With the small efficient gasoline engine and the smaller and cheaper lithium-ion battery, the ‘hybrid Tesla Model 3’ would be half the price compared to the original Model 3, according to the Austrian engineer, who says that he wants more people to be able to afford some sort of cleaner cars.

Obrist has been working on his hyperhybrid concept for more than seven years, according to Edison Media magazine.

While the hybrid concept could make a Tesla cheaper, it kind of defeats the purpose of Tesla’s fully electric vehicles designed to help fight rising global emissions.  

Tesla, for its part, has been beating production and delivery records in recent months, despite the initial hiccups and “production hell” in 2018 when Model 3 was being rolled out.  

In October, Tesla surprised the market with an unexpected profit for the third quarter of 2019, and achieved a record number of around 97,000 deliveries globally in Q3. 

In the outlook provided in the Q3 2019 update, Tesla said about 2019 global deliveries that “deliveries should increase sequentially and annually, with some expected fluctuations from seasonality. We are highly confident in exceeding 360,000 deliveries this year.”  


In Q4 2019, Tesla produced a record 105,000 vehicles and delivered a record 112,000 vehicles, the company said on Friday. Full-year 2019 deliveries were around 367,500 vehicles, in line with Tesla’s own guidance and beating analyst expectations, which sent the stock’s closing price at an all-time high on Friday.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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