Thursday, September 06, 2007

Volvo Pluggable Hybrid Concept Car--All Electric All the Time--No Transmission, No Driveshaft

Before you get too excited, you should know that this car will not see production before 2015 at the soonest. The four independent electric motors are built into the wheels, and the only power connection to the wheels is a power cable from the battery. The 1.6 liter flex-fuel engine is only there to keep the batteries charged.
When fully charged the Volvo ReCharge Concept can be driven approximately 62 miles on battery power alone before the car's four-cylinder 1.6 Flexifuel engine1 is needed to power the car and recharge the battery. The concept car also retains the Volvo C30's lively and sporty drive thanks to an acceleration figure of 0-62mph in 9 seconds and a top speed of 100mph.

"This is a groundbreaking innovation for sustainable transportation. This plug-in hybrid car, when used as intended, should have about 66 percent lower emissions of carbon dioxide compared with the best hybrid cars available on the market today. Emissions may be even lower if most of the electricity comes from CO2-friendly sources such as biogas, hydropower and nuclear power. A person driving less than 60 miles per day will rarely need to visit a filling station.

...During a journey the combustion engine starts up automatically when 70 percent of the battery power has been used up. However, the driver also has the option of controlling the four-cylinder Flexifuel engine manually via a button in the control panel. This allows the driver to start the engine earlier in order to maximise battery charge, for instance when out on a motorway in order to save battery capacity for driving through the next town.

* The battery pack integrated into the boot uses lithium-polymer battery technology. The batteries are intended to have a useful life beyond that of the car itself.
* Four electric motors, one at each wheel, provide independent traction power.
* Four-cylinder 1.6-litre Flexifuel engine drives an advanced generator that efficiently powers the wheel motors when the battery is depleted.

...The central electrical components in the Volvo ReCharge Concept – the generator for the APU and the wheel motors – were developed together with British electromagnetic specialists PML Flightlink.

With an individual electric motor at each wheel, weight distribution as well as mechanical efficiency and traction are maximised and the friction in mechanical gears is eliminated. Since the car does not have the transmission found in ordinary cars, there is no need for a gear lever.

...The energy that is generated during braking is transmitted to the battery pack. When the system is ultimately developed, traditional wheel brakes will be completely replaced by electrical brakes with minimal energy wasted through friction. To ensure reliable operation of the drivetrain and braking system, driver inputs are fed into a quadruple-redundant electronic control system.
Hat tip Gizmag



Blogger Unknown said...

Why is it so hard for auto makers to figure out which car they should build. They go off in all directions and this is the only good idea I have seen lately.
I know that I will not buy a new car unless it is a pluggable hybrid. The flex fuel idea would be good too.
I just do not understand the long development times all of these auto makers are talking about. In WWII U.S. industry could design and build a new aircraft in six months. At one point they were launching a ship every day.
I know that then our lives depended upon it, but look around. What is our situation today?

Oviedo Flordia

1:44 PM  
Blogger Larry said...

I really like this idea, get it out quicker. I live in the north, like the idea of all-wheel drive, plus electric starts better than gas. Another idea, put solar panels on the roof, integrated, so I can drive to work, leave the car in the sun, charge the batteries, and drive back home at the end of the work day.

11:24 AM  

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