Smith Vehicles & Germany’s Proton Power systems develop fuel cell truck
Batteries

Smith Vehicles & Germany’s Proton Power systems develop fuel cell truck

Smith Vehicles & Germany’s Proton Power systems have jointly developed the world’s first electrically operated commercial vehicle in the 7.5 to 12 tonne class.

The truck uses a battery and a HyRange fuel cell system from Proton Motor Fuel Cell GmbH. The vehicle is based on the battery-powered Newton vehicle built by Smith Electric Vehicles.

Proton Motor has integrated a HyRange hydrogen fuel cell system with an output of 8kW into the vehicle which supplies the battery with electrical energy. This significantly improves the vehicle’s range and enables power to be supplied to the driver cabin air conditioning unit or additional equipment such as electrically powered refrigeration units.

The vehicle is available immediately for field testing by interested customers in the box van and tail lift configuration. The project was supported by funding from the NIP (National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology Innovation programme).

Dr. Francoise Faiz Nahab, Managing Director of Proton Motor Fuel Cell GmbH, said: “We developed our HyRange system for buses and commercial vehicles for innercity use. The vehicles are extremely quiet and emissions free. This is an optimal solution for every city that needs to meet the planned environmental targets. We are very proud of the results of our (more…)

Venturi VBB-3 – the world’s most powerful electric car, aiming to exceed 600 km/h
Academic organisations

Venturi VBB-3 – the world’s most powerful electric car, aiming to exceed 600 km/h

The Venturi VBB program is a partnership with the Ohio State University, which has so far set two international land speed records for an electric vehicle: 303 mph (487 km/h) in 2009 and 307 mph (495 km/h) in 2010

The “Venturi Buckeye Bullet Racing” is back this on the Bonneville Salt Flats to try to beat its own world land speed record with a new streamliner, aiming for more than 600 km/h.

“Because the VBB-3 is a fantastic test bed for electric powertrains subjected to extreme conditions and environments, this new records program represents a truly strategic R&D initiative for Venturi.

The Venturi VBBs belong to a long tradition of record-breaking electric vehicles. Also known as the Venturi Jamais Contente, it pays homage to Camille Jenatzy’s electric car, the first to have broken the legendary 100 km/h barrier.”

With attempts delayed due to conditions, the team had time for a visit from their patron Prince Albert of Monaco, who unveiled the latest streamliner: the Venturi VBB-3, the world´s most powerful electric car.

After two years of development, the land speed record vehicle was supposed to run on the salt flats of Bonneville over the past few days, but due to poor weather conditions the FIA (more…)

China’s GAC Trumpchi E-jet hybrid will have a special plug
China

China’s GAC Trumpchi E-jet hybrid will have a special plug

Chinese state-owned auto-giant Guangzhou Automobile Group’s clever concept hybrid is going to have a special plug…

A marketing plug in the next installment of the Hollywood blockbuster Transformers movie. Apparently the movie series is a big hit in China and much of the latest picture is being filmed there.

The Trumpchi E-jet is only a concept at the moment, but it has a rather interesting drive train, which Guangzhou Automobile Group are developing with the South China University of Technology. The system uses a small (1000cc), four-cylinder petrol engine to power an on-board generator, with an electric motor driving the wheels and “an advanced lithium-ion polymer battery pack” to store power: it’s a plug-in hybrid, obviously.

GAC_Chinese_Hybrid_drivetrainClever marketing and I’m sure we will see more and more Chinese cars on the big screen, and hopefully for sale in Europe and the US as they expand their efforts globally. I really like the look of the E-jet.

News via Chinese e-car set for Transformers movie debut | Reuters (more…)

PSA Hybrid Air – because energy storage doesn’t have to be a battery
Compressed air

PSA Hybrid Air – because energy storage doesn’t have to be a battery

hybrid-air-1Not exactly breaking news: PSA’s Hybrid Air tech has been in the press for a while, but they showed the Cactus concept at Frankfurt and are saying that the technology will be available in production cars from 2016.

Citroen seem to have a historical obsession with hydraulic air technology, and often bizarre yet ingenious innovation, from the legendary and huge selling DS to the present day. Their hydraulic air suspension is notable, and now alongside Bosch they are applying air and oil pressure technology to drive/energy storage.

It makes a lot of sense though: the technology is (in principle at least) mechanically simple, doesn’t require a great deal of exotic materials or rare earths, and it’s light with an estimated weight saving of up to 100 kg compared to a battery Hybrid, which is the first step towards efficiency. Also: the storage system should lasts a lot longer than batteries, without the gradual loss of capacity after multiple charge cycles, and fewer recycling issues. The system is effectively simpler, lighter and cheaper than a battery, using tested technologies

The PSA Bosch hybrid system uses pressure from the engine and also from regenerative braking – (more…)

UK’s GKN Driveline Multi-Mode eTransmission on the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

The GKN Multi-Mode eTransmission’s lightweight, compact design honed for high efficiency adds to the car’s extraordinary low CO 2 tailpipe emission of 44g/km.”

“In their quest to find appealing packages for low carbon mobility, the vehicle manufacturers are exploring all possible avenues. With the new Outlander PHEV, Mitsubishi Motors has broken new ground and we are excited to have played a key role helping make this innovation a reality.” – GKN Driveline’s global engineering director Rob Rickell

Press release: GKN Driveline Multi-Mode eTransmission on the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (more…)