I'm looking for some guess-timates here.
I saw a news clip about a "hybrid electric"
It would run on battery whenever possible,
but then a gas motor would kick in to keep the batterys recharged.
It looked like a pretty healthy 4-cylinder gas engine doing the charging.
I had assumed that all it would take to maintain charge
would be a 3-1/2hp lawnmower engine
driving a 100 amp alternator......
Just how much power do the electric ( wheel ) drive motors suck ?
Are we talking multi-kilowatt generators to keep up with the draw ?
It all depends on the weight of the vehicle in question.
The weight of the batteries is one of the worries the vehicle makers
are working on.
I have had some electrical bikes over the years.
In the past they had ordinary car batteries and were very heavy and
could not go very far.
On of my latest had four big car batteries and fully charged it could
go pretty fast and was powerful.
It was difficult to charge it and I could not ride itl ike a bicycle.
My latest el-bike.is is foldable so it is easy to carry around and
The battery is only 4.5 kg and is easy to charge too.
Easy to remove the battery to take inside to charge like a cellphone.
I ride the bike like an ordinary bicycle and if turned on it will
assist in speeds between 0 and 6 m/s.
Over 6 m/s it stops using the battery.
It is very nice to get assistance up a hill or against the wind.
Makes bicycle rides a pure pleasure.
The price of the bike was around $1000
Battery size depends on the range, if the engine can't keep up with the
Basically the engine should be adequate to maintain a level road steady
speed- at the speed designed for. The electric kicks in for hills and
acceleration. In stop & go driving the engine is off at stops, light
braking is done by the electric motors to charge the battery.
Larger batteries allow more battery only operation.
Mild hybrids need both the electric and gas engine to operate.
See the Toyota Prius for a good example of an all round hybrid electric.
Here many are used for taxis, even to the airport. With the new
restrictions on baggage, the Prius handles 2 people just fine. we were
in one recently.
Our cab company says they get 6L/100 KM in urban driving with the Prius.
They get 9L/100 KM with the similar sized Corolla.
The hybrid batteries are an additional big cost,
Toyota says about 8 yr life.
Here we have a $2K Fed +$2K Prov rebate ($4k total rebates) on the
Prius, bringing it's price into the region of the 4 cyl non hybrid Camry.
I feel GM's sporty and fast all electric cars are silly and won't sell.
An all electric is for only shorter range urban use. A Yaris sized car
is what I see as the best.
In Quebec, Canada there is produced a nice sized all electric car, but
it is currently only for up to 40 KMPH, not useful on our 60+ KMPH urban
slower roads. (50 KMPH = 30 MPH; 80 KPH = 50MPH)
They need an 80 KMPH model.
They plan a faster model soon. (?)
(their car may be efficient, but their web site is a CPU eater)
You raise an interesting point. Although a 3.5 hp motor could not drive the
generator necessary to recharge etc... but I have been checking into and
seriously considering a VW Jetta TDI (diesel) which can easily produce
45plus MPG with NO worries about battery life etc...
The TDI diesel produces the best gas mileage of any non hybrid auto offered
in the US. With that thought in mind, I just read that VW has a hybrid in
the works, using the diesel engine along with batteries, and preliminary
results suggest it will be capable of 65 mpg or possibly higher. That would
best the Prius numbers by a long shot and make it the most fuel efficient
vehicle in the US. Wouldn't it be interesting if VW suddenly rose to the
top of the heap while the big 3 all scratch their heads and try to figure
out how to transition from trucks to fuel efficient cars??? (and I own two
Chevy's, so I'm not anti GM)
A very interesting concept IMHO, and I'm anxious to see how it works out.
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