Concept of the Day: Twizy Renault Sport F1
April 25, 2013 § Leave a comment
Well, Concept of the Day has to be Renault’s Twizy Renault Sport F1. It is, admittedly, pretty silly (especially since its top speed is still only 68mph), but it does showcase a fair amount of interesting F1-developed tech. The race car wheels, front splitter, wing, diffuser, LED lights and all the body kit aren’t really the story: more interestingly, this concept features KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System, capturing heat energy otherwise lost under braking), giving a transient power-boost to 97bhp (an extra 80!) and 0-62mph in six seconds – a savvy way to supplement performance in an EV with little weight/range penalty. The selectable two-mode (recovery/boost) KERS – comprising a dynamo-style electric motor-generator unit linked to the driveshaft, specific lithium-ion batteries and a control unit – is bolted in behind the driver in place of the rear seat. It’s just a demo and a consciousness-raiser at the moment, but it’s all feasible…
- And more KERS: Volvo has finished testing its kinetic flywheel tech, and confirms that it’s light, financially viable and efficient – in combination with a four-cylinder turbo engine it can reduce fuel consumption by up to 25% compared to a six-cylinder turbo engine giving similar performance (0-62 in 5.5 seconds, in the experimental S60). It adds a transient 80bhp through a flywheel spinning at the rear axle, allowing for switch-off of the ICE up front under braking; indeed, the ICE could be off for around half the driving time, and Volvo claims that fuel savings will be the greatest in stop-start urban traffic and during “active driving” (whatever that might mean: I’m guessing aggressive throttle-brake action). Volvo is now evaluating the production prospects.
- So now we know who Detroit Electric’s partner is: Geely Automobile Group of China (which owns Volvo, incidentally, not that we’re playing The Chain here). The pair have “entered into strategic partnership to co-develop pure electric vehicles and related electric drive systems for the Chinese market”, and the first models – all-electric – will go on sale in China next year. First up is an EV based on Geely’s Emgrand EC7 saloon, logically called EC7-EV, which will be co-branded ‘Detroit Electric – Technology’. It’ll initially go to business users and public sector organisations, with sales of 3,000 expected in the first year but 30,000 a year in three years’ time; range is 165km (with a 258km extra-cost upgrade), and the EC7-EV is said to be good for 200kmph and 0-100km in less than eight seconds. Tech includes the twin-speed gearbox as in the SP:01; a JV is being formed to make the EV powertrain and its components near to Geely’s HQ in Hangzhou, Zheijang province.
- London, and the congestion charge: threshold for exemption is lowered to 75g/km as of 1st July, leaving only the EVs, range-extenders and plug-in hybrids to go free. As it should be, I reckon. There’s a three-year grace period for cars already registered for the exemption, however, to mollify the people who just bought a small diesel specifically to drive it into the centre of the city.
- Meanwhile, the European parliament has approved an average 95g/km target for car-makers for 2020 – more here.
- Leading by example: the Obama administration is supporting the purchase of 10,000 hybrids for government agencies, reports Detroit News.
- And Honda’s doing a smart home/grid/EV demo too, (see previous post) at University of California, Davis.