March 17, 2014

YOUR NEXT CAR WILL BE A VOLT:

A cure for electric car range anxiety : Sales should rise rapidly thanks to the game-changing series hybrid design recently released to the market. (Alan Finkel, 3/17/14, Cosmos)

1. The car's body panels are made from a carbon fibre plastic composite, a lightweight alternative to metal that offsets the weight of the battery pack.

2. Tall, skinny tyres have the same sized contact patch with the road as conventional tyres, but lower drag through the air.

3. Lithium batteries under the car's floor hold 22 kilowatt hours of energy, typically enough to power the car on electricity alone for 150 km, BMW claims.

4. The i3's 125 kilowatt electric motor, which revs at up to 11,400 rpm, drives the car's rear wheels. Lifting off the accelerator pedal instantly switches the motor into generator mode, feeding energy back into the battery.

5. The tiny petrol-powered 25 kilowatt range-extender engine is not connected to the wheels. Its sole job is to charge the battery. [...]

The i3 is the first of its kind. It is a fully electric car but can be equipped with a small petrol tank - not for running the motor but for running an electric generator that cuts in as needed to top up a flattening battery.
Posted by at March 17, 2014 3:43 PM
  
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