Interesting concept, however its far from new and ground breaking.....a little city in southeast Tn (chattanooga) had/has a full size bus/shuttle that is turbine assisted electric also with regen braking to replenish its battery, they were doing a proof of concept over 10 years ago, other than control system problems it was a success I believe, I got to ride in it daily for 4years
This is the future of hybrid vehicles, bottom line. The multitude benefits make it the clear front runner in the competitive field, and IMO, those who ignore this option will be left in the dust within the next decade. Love seeing another contender in this game, too. I hope many more will enter, driving normalized pricing and wide adoption. Until (and even after) a proper electric-storage tech is established, there will be a need for liquid fuel assistance for electric vehicles. BTW, how awesome would this be in a light aircraft, or even a human-carrying multicopter?
Martin Hone
Lacking in a lot of tech info here, but I like the concept. Where did they source the turbine ? Is it a model aircraft engine ? A small tubine running at constant full throttle where it is most efficient could be the answer for sure, but again, no details in fuel consumption or price, the two things that usually work against turbines.
Excellent technology for an EV but why lug around something that is only needed for few occasions. I have always been wedded to the idea that we need a stock standard EV for the regular 90-95% of our daily driving and then use the option of renting whatever vehicle we want for whatever purpose we have.
Is that why you own a Nissan leaf for every-day driving and hire an M5 every time you drive long distance, or on a freeway (even in a whim or spur-of-the-moment change of plans)...
Nice Idea, doesn't really work in the current paradigm.
The thing that is actually holding back EV's from being bigger in the market place is the cost. The initial purchase - huge, the required maintenance - even bigger again, replacement parts - forget it. EV companies need to stop thinking that being green is a license to print money. As soon as they do that, they will sell a lot more. If governments stepped in and offered to help affordability of the common person - sales would sky rocket. Petrol giants will however, always try to block this. BTW, EV's are not any more environmentally friendly than standard cars - we still mine for raw materials, the plastics still require petro-chemicals, there is still a massive carbon footprint - and credit points do not work, don't be stupid, mother earth does not care if you plant a tree then dig out a mine - the mining still decimates
@GWA111 - I agree the initial purchase price is steep (but falling) along with the cost of parts, but that's mostly an economies of scale issue which should reduce over time. But the amount of maintenance and associated costs are actually much less for EVs as there are far fewer moving parts, less fluids that need changing and things like brake pads can last the life of car due to regenerative breaking.
This technology is very old-school. It peaked in the 1950s on locomotives, known as "GTEL" or gas-turbine electric locomotive technology. Turbines had much better power/weight ratio & less/easier maintenance than the diesel that replaced it. GTEL ultimately never caught on, the problem is the torque curve on a diesel engine was much flatter. GTEL was ideal for long distance, high speed runs (from Wikipedia). On an EV this technology makes abundant good sense, because the turbine can run flat-out & supply whatever motive power is required, and the excess power directed to replenish the storage battery. I'm a fan because I've always wanted a jet-powered batmobile, whereas a jet-powered electric supercar probably has the potential to be superior in every way. THIS is the engine they should have invented for the Elio/Aptera/Volt/Chrysler Turbine/whatever.
This reminds me of an idea I submitted to the Ford Motor Company about 8 years ago of attaching an electric generator to the output shaft of a turbo charger to produce electricity to charge the batteries of a gasoline electric hybrid vehicle. The design would do away with feeding air from the turbocharger into the engine in order to save fuel, since more air means more gasoline in order to maintain the proper stoichiometric ratio needed for cimbustion, hence higher fuel consumption. They liked the concept but stated they would not do anything with it, as they were already committed to the conventional hybrid vehicle design. I thought to myself, here is a concept that uses otherwise wasted energy from the exhaust to produce electricity needed to charge the batteries of a gasoline- electric hybrid vehicle and they won't do anything with it! Priceless.
still dont understand why they cant turn the rims into large alternators using either brushes or magnets so the faster you go the electricity you create so the faster you can go and the longer you can go because you are constently generating your own energy supply. your only problem would be stuck in traffic, but with the right battery and somply turning car off...