What if there was a different kind of hybrid technology, that wasn’t being explored openly but was more efficient than a traditional Gas/Electric hybrid combination?
What if there was a hybrid vehicle technology that could at least double the gas mileage of passenger cars, SUVs and light trucks? What if it could slash emissions by 50 percent or more? And what if it could challenge our usual mileage expectations by offering better fuel consumption in the city than on the highway?
Even better from an engineering and manufacturing standpoint, what if this hybrid technology didn’t rely on expensive, heavy, bulky battery technologies that aren’t really ready for prime time and instead used a time-tested energy storage method?
Well, there is just such a hybrid-vehicle technology, and it’s one based entirely on hydraulic components rather than electric ones.
This seems like an amazing concept, but is it realistic to reproduce and go mainstream?
Design concepts for hydraulic hybrids vary, but typically the car’s diesel or gas engine powers a hydraulic pump motor, which charges that high-pressure accumulator. The accumulator, in turn, drives one or more additional pump motors connected to the wheels. A second lower pressure accumulator typically completes the hydraulic circuit. Depending on the design, there may be one pump motor.
For more hybrid vehicles check out our hybrid car guide.