Hybrid Technologies

Automotive Technology: Too much, not enough or just right?

Posted in auto industry, Hybrid Technologies, Maintenance, News by MrAngry | February 4th, 2011 | 6 Responses |

Automotive Technology
*Photo Credit: Argonne Science & Engineering

Today’s automobiles are packed with so much technology that frankly it’s a bit overwhelming. Don’t get me wrong, it’s all wonderful stuff, but man oh man are our cars becoming advanced. In fact our cars are so complicated now that basic tinkering is almost impossible. I remember a time when you could open a cars hood and know immediately what everything did. Things like the alternator, power steering pump, brake booster, plug wires… these were all things that could be fixed and or dealt with in ones own garage. Nowadays though even something as simple as an oil change or brake job can be a hassle. Hell, the only reason to open the hood now is just to make sure the engine didn’t fall out. These are no longer fully mechanical machines like their predecessors were, and as such, they require very special equipment when it comes to diagnosing and fixing any issues. Technicians nowadays are not what most would consider the typical “grease monkey”, but highly skilled individuals who operate multi-million dollar equipment on a daily basis.

BMW & Peugeot Announce Hybrid Joint Venture

Posted in auto industry, BMW, Citroen, Hybrid Technologies, News, Peugeot by Kurt Ernst | February 2nd, 2011 | Leave a Reply |
2011 Mini E

The Mini E, likely to benefit from the new joint venture. Image: © BMW AG

The BMW Group and PSA Peugeot Citroën have signed an agreement to establish a joint venture aimed at developing hybrid drive technologies. The company, to be called BMW Peugeot Citroën Electrification, will develop and build components for hybrid systems, including battery packs, generators, chargers, controllers and software. By sharing R&D, purchasing and production, the partner companies feel that they’ll be able to develop and build hybrid vehicles more economically than their competitors. Read More…

M55 “Beast” Bike: A hybrid hammer for outdoorsy types!

Posted in Cool Stuff, Electric Vehicles, Human Powered Vehicles, Hybrid, Hybrid Technologies, Motorcycle by MrAngry | November 29th, 2010 | 1 Response |

M55 Beast Bike

I’m still not overly convinced that hybrid bicycles are the way to go. Around NYC we see them all the time, but they generally have some type of delivery person behind the bars. In that application I can totally see their usefulness, but as an exercise machine using a hybrid bike seems like a cop-out to me. Others, like the guys over at M55 Bikes however don’t seem to agree. You see they’ve just designed what may in fact be the ultimate in two-wheeled, people assisted mobility. Meet the M55 Beast, a bicycle with the looks of a professional downhill racer and infused technology even the Terminator would appreciate.
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Oshkosh Light Concept Vehicle Tackles the Baja 1000

Posted in 4x4, Alt Fuels, Concept Cars, Cool Stuff, Diesel, Fuel-efficient, Hybrid, Hybrid Technologies, Off-Roading, Videos by MrAngry | November 29th, 2010 | 2 Responses |

Oshkosh has been making tactical all-terrain vehicles for the military for years now, ranging from the 72-ton payload hauling Global Het, to their high-speed response and security vehicle, the SandCat. What that means is that Oshkosh is a company that must create, design and innovate to stay current in the ever developing world of advanced military vehicles. One such creation, the Oshkosh Light Concept, recently competed in the 43rd Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 and did so with the mission of showing off their latest serial diesel-electric ProPulse hybrid drive configuration.
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The Complete Beginners Guide To Hybrid Terminology

Posted in auto industry, Car Buying, Car Tech, Electric Cars, Environment, General, Hybrid Technologies, New Cars by Kurt Ernst | November 16th, 2010 | 9 Responses |

Yes, but what does that really mean?

When Mike and I wrote our review of the 2011 Chevy Volt, and when I drafted my rebuttal to George Will’s editorial on the car, one thing became clear: the majority of American consumers have no idea that there are different kinds of hybrids. Thanks to ineffective marketing campaigns from automakers and the short attention span of the average consumer, they’re completely unaware that a Toyota Prius differs from a Chevy Volt.

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Baseball, Pulitzer Prize Winners, Volt Misconceptions And Chevrolet

Posted in Car Tech, Cars, Chevrolet, Electric Cars, FAIL, Hybrid Technologies, Newsworthy by Kurt Ernst | November 15th, 2010 | 11 Responses |

A Chevy Volt, at speed, somewhere in NJ

I’ll admit it: I’m not a big fan of baseball. The extent of my baseball knowledge can be summed up as follows: the pitcher throws the ball, and the batter tries to connect with the pitch. There are three possible outcomes, one of which is a strike, the other a ball and the final a hit. Technically, there are foul balls as well, which usually count as a strike. If the batter gets a hit, he tries to run the bases until he scores a run or gets tagged out. My problem with the sport is down time, since there’s not a lot going on between pitches. If baseball were played at double speed, or if they jumped in carts to drive an extended baseline, or if they released tigers on the field at random intervals, it would be worth watching. For me it’s like watching paint dry, with slightly less action.

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Motor Trend Gets Serious Fuel Economy From The Chevy Volt

Posted in auto industry, Chevrolet, Electric Cars, General, Hybrid, Hybrid Technologies, Newsworthy by Kurt Ernst | October 15th, 2010 | 4 Responses |

2011 Chevy Volt

What is the sound of one hand clapping? If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is around to hear it, does it really make noise? Add to that list of zen-inspired question, what kind of fuel economy does the Chevy Volt achieve? Chevy originally claimed 200 MPG, until the EPA dis-allowed their numbers. A few months back, a tester for Translogic claimed to see a dismal 27.3 MPG, a claim that was quickly refuted by Chevy. Until now, we knew only this with some certainly: the Volt would get much better fuel economy than 27.3 MPG, but it wouldn’t get 200 MPG.

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Exagon Electric Hybrid: GT-R Meets Opel Insignia

Posted in EcoLust, Electric Cars, Electric Vehicles, Hybrid, Hybrid Technologies, Paris Auto Show by Dustin Driver | October 10th, 2010 | Leave a Reply |

The French Exagon Furtive eGT electric hybrid looks like the bastard offspring of the Nissan GT-R and the Opel Insiginia. The new car debuted at the Paris Auto Show a few weeks ago, joining the ranks of high-performance extended-range hybrids that are storming the automotive world. The Exagon boasts a claimed 500-mile range and a 155 mile-per-hour top speed. It can also hit 60 mph in less than 3.5 seconds. It’s driven by two Siemens 168 hp motors for a total of 336 hp. Information on the car’s petrol engine is nonexistent, but one can guess it’s French in origin. French President Nicholas Sarkozy got an exclusive peek at the car during the Paris Auto Show, but he’s not talking.

Source: Autoblog

Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid At 2010 Petit LeMans

Posted in American Le Mans Series, Car Tech, General, Hybrid, Hybrid Technologies, Porsche, Racing by Kurt Ernst | October 5th, 2010 | Leave a Reply |

Porsche brought their 911 GT3 R Hybrid to this side of the pond, to compete in last weekend’s Petit LeMans at Road Atlanta. The car started from the 43rd spot, but managed an 18th place finish despite two unscheduled pit stops during the event. The car, entered into the GTH class for experimental cars, was co-driven by Timo Bernhard, Mike Rockenfeller and Romain Dumas. Their goal wasn’t so much to win the event, but rather to develop as much information as possible on Porsche’s hybrid drive system under racing conditions. The data gathered will be applied to future racing efforts, and eventually to Porsche road cars as well.

The hybrid drive system in the Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid differs substantially from those used in production cars like the Toyota Prius. The Porsche system is a Kinetic Energy Recover System (KERS), similar to what was developed for Formula One racing in the 2009 season. The GT3 R Hybrid has two electric motors mounted at the front wheels; under braking, these motors act as generators. The energy created is transmitted to a KERS flywheel unit, which sits where the passenger seat would be in an ordinary car. The flywheel, which can spin at up to 40,000 RPM, stores the kinetic energy recovered from braking, but only for a limited amount of time (around eight seconds). Exiting a corner, a driver can use the energy stored in the flywheel to power the front wheel motors, creating a short burst of additional horsepower or reducing the amount of throttle needed (and hence, fuel consumed) to regain speed.

2011 Chevy Volt Gets 27.3 MPG In Range Extender Mode?

Posted in auto industry, Chevrolet, Commuter Cars, Electric Cars, Hybrid, Hybrid Technologies, Newsworthy by Kurt Ernst | August 25th, 2010 | 3 Responses |

Translogic, a sister site to Autoblog, recently tested the series hybrid Chevy Volt. It’s good to know that they got from zero to sixty in about eight and a half seconds and discovered that the Volt gives you a “Mountain Mode” to build up a reserve charge for mountain driving. Translogic drove the Volt for 59.7 miles, and used just 0.59 gallons of fermented dinosaur. Using those numbers, the Volt yielded an impressive 101.19 miles per gallon of gas, which makes it the poster child for being both green and practical.

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