Hybrids, flybrids and all-electric vehicles

September 16, 2010 § Leave a comment

  • A consortium including Jaguar Land Rover, Ford, Flybrid Systems, Prodrive, Ricardo, Torotrak and Xtrac has unveiled flywheel hybrid technology claimed to add up to 82PS of extra reclaimed power and  improve fuel economy by up to 20%. The FHSPV (Flywheel Hybrid System Premium Vehicle) tech works with a small CVT gearbox connected to the rear differential; this collects kinetic energy and sends it to a compact flywheel instead of a battery. On application of the accelerator, the energy is sent back to the driven wheels. The flywheel (from Flybrid) is compact, as is the CVT (Xtrac/Torotrak); both are integrated into the powertrain using control systems developed by Prodrive. The system, announced this week at the Low Carbon Vehicle Show at Millbrook, is now under testing.
  • Fisker Automotive has confirmed the production launch of the Karma saloon (pictured) at the Paris Motor Show. A plug-in hybrid, the 403bhp  Karma can do 0-62mph in 5.9 seconds and 125mph, yet it returns an average 100mpg and emits only 83g/km of carbon dioxide. Fisker’s also promising to announce details of the expansion of its global dealer network.
  • Hyundai-Kia is to make an all-electric version of an upcoming new small SUV, and start trials of this model in late 2011; public sales are planned for 2013 (Automotive News).
  • Renault’s confirmed the launch of its four electric vehicles next year. The production version of the Zoe ZE small hatch will be made in Flins, near Paris; the Kangoo Van ZE will be made in Maubeuge, northern France; the Twizy ZE city car in Valladolid, Spain, and the Fluence saloon in Bursa, Turkey. Renault says  that it plans to sell and lease the cars, with subscription plans for the batteries and mobility services (such as battery-swapping, in some countries), with purchase and ownership costs to be no higher than buying or leasing an equivalent diesel car.
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