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Valentin Technologies IngoCar – Click above for high-res image gallery

Interested in a five-seat, four-door, sportwagen that "is brimming with innovation" and was designed in Elm Grove, WI? How about if the car were to get 170 miles per gallon? Yeah, that got our attention, too.

The car in question is the IngoCar from Valentin Technologies. But how does this mid-size passenger car wring that much distance out of a gallon of fuel? Here's how Valentin describes the powertrain:
This extraordinary fuel efficiency is achieved by a revolutionary hydraulic-fluid drive. This hybrid gasoline/hydraulic drive system can deliver acceleration from 0-60 in 4 seconds. Using a small gasoline engine, fluid is pumped into an accumulator. The fluid then drives hydraulic wheel motors for shiftless acceleration. During braking, motors are reversed and pump the entire recuperated braking energy back into the accumulator. This innovative technology and the car's light weight give an estimated range of 1,000 miles for a full 6 gallon tank of fuel.
Sound reasonable? It could work, but energy isn't free and we don't know how much of the energy spent to move the vehicle forward is recuperated back into the accumulator. Still, Valentin Technologies has a been working on hydrostatic powertrains for a while, so we're willing to give them the benefit of the doubt for now. An earlier version of the IngoCar got "just" 130 mpg and, but the designers dropped 600 pounds (down to 1,600 lbs.) and improved the engine efficiency by 20 percent. We want to see the technology in action, but Valentin says that $3.8 million would be needed to prototype the IngoCar.

For now, we'll have to make due with the video posted after the jump and the first teaser sketches by Davide Tonizzo, of designD, from Toronto. Sure is a lot of the original Honda Insight and the Nissan Leaf in the rear end, don't you think? You can hear Tonizzo discuss his design on the CBC Radio show Metro Morning. Find the March 5th episode and click on "Futuristic Car Design" to listen.



[Source: Davide Tonizzo]



PRESS RELEASE

Valentin Technologies releases first images of the IngoCar.


Elm Grove, WI, March 1, 2010. - Valentin Technologies has given the public its first glimpse of its IngoCar with the release of three teaser sketches. The five -seat, four door, sportwagen is brimming with innovation.

The company's founder Ingo Valentin has stated that "Finally outstanding performance and extremely high mileage are combined in a mid-size passenger car."

The vehicle's estimated mileage is 170 mpg based on a mix of city and rural driving. This extraordinary fuel efficiency is achieved by a revolutionary hydraulic-fluid drive. This hybrid gasoline/hydraulic drive system can deliver acceleration from 0-60 in 4 seconds. Using a small gasoline engine, fluid is pumped into an accumulator. The fluid then drives hydraulic wheel motors for shiftless acceleration. During braking, motors are reversed and pump the entire recuperated braking energy back into the accumulator. This innovative technology and the car's light weight give an estimated range of 1,000 miles for a full 6 gallon tank of fuel.

Hydraulics is also used to create an innovative protection system for occupants. Hydraulic bumpers embedded in the car's structure can absorb impacts up to 40 mph. The accumulator's central placement and low center of gravity provide excellent handling characteristics. The small size of the accumulator and drive system allows for a roomy passenger area and large trunks front and rear giving 24 cubic feet of cargo carrying capacity (8/16 front/rear).

Styling for the car was provided by Davide Tonizzo, of designD. "Ingo wanted an image that reflected the car's performance and its low emissions. The words athletic and friendly inspired the design." The designer opted for a two box design with aero driven features including front and rear diffusers and very soft front corners. However, the designer adds, "It was important to give the car appeal. While we wanted an efficient aero design we didn't want to overdo the aeronautical character and create an airplane for the road." The styling remains modern and pleasant with distinctive Venturi-inspired lines on the side panels that pay tribute to the aero efficiency and help define the IngoCar brand.

Mr. Valentin says, "We are proud to unveil our vision of an automobile that has the style, interior space, comfort and cost of a BMW 5 Series or Mercedes E-Class combined with unprecedented range and fuel economy."

Valentin Technologies is based in Elm Grove, Wisconsin USA .The company develops new hydrostatic power trains for vehicles. Technical expertise is based on more than 15 years of product development with leading manufacturers in this field. For additional information go to: www.valentintechnologies.com

Davide Tonizzo is a Toronto-based car designer with a diverse range of clients. His projects have received numerous awards and have been featured in international design publications. Find out more about Davide Tonizzo at www.designd-online.com
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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 41 Comments
      • 3 Months Ago
      3.8 million dollars is a lot of money but for a car like this one it ain't a lot and it's maybe worth 50+ millions on the market once build. If i had money to invest in car business, i'll buy it right now. It's conpletelly different then anything, it's exclusive technology. It's a deluxe ride. it's green, etc.

      Where are the new players in the cars, trucks, motorcycles, lawn mowers, semi-trailer trucks, bulldozers, ships market ?
        • 3 Months Ago
        Investors watch out! When Gorr is advocating a product, it MUST be a scam.
      • 3 Months Ago
      I cannot for the life of me figure out how they calculated 1.8 MegaJoules of energy content for the accumulator.

      https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http://www.valentintechnologies.com/media-library/art/The-130-mpg-Car-05-07.pdf

      Page 14

      claims 6,800 psi (470 bar)
      7.25 / 7.25 gallons of accumulator volume which I must assume is additive to 14.5 gallons.


      Nitrogen = 1.28 grams per liter
      The car contains 14.5 gallons (~55 liters) of accumulator volume
      = The accumulator contains 70.4 grams (0.07 kg) of Nitrogen gas
      The max pressure is 6800 psi (~470 bar)

      So lets calculate the Available Energy content of 55 liters of gas compressed to 470 bar using the ideal gas law and assuming ZERO losses.

      This formula also verifies 4 MJ/kg of 300 bar compressed air

      Po=1 bar
      P1=470 bar
      v1=0.055 m3 (55 liters)

      MJ = p1 * V1 * ln(p1/p0)
      MJ = 1 * 0.055 m3 * ln(470/1)
      MJ = 0.338
      *** NOT the 1.8 MegaJoules claimed ***
      338 kJ = 94 Watt-hours
      0.094 kwh = 0.45 miles for a normal car... NOT 5 miles
      Off by a order of magnitude
      And that is not counting any of the MANY losses for air compression and expansion.

      I send a inquiry to Valentin to see if my assumption for the volume is correct.

      If my calculations are correct it would require 300 liters (80 gallons) of initial Nitrogen volume to get 1.8 MJ when at 6,800 psi. Which is too big to hold in a car.

      I will update when I hear back from them
      • 3 Months Ago
      From the Valentin website:
      Also, the Hydrostatic Powertrain is listed in the Top 100 Technologies of the New Energy Congress. http://peswiki.com/energy/Congress:Top_100_Technologies_--_RD

      http://www.valentintechnologies.com/general/electric.html

      The are also claiming their 5 kwh battery electric version can go 50 miles per charge. Which is 10 miles per kilowatt hour... when normal EVs get 5. Like the volt using 8kwh to go 40 miles.

      I'm calling BS on this company.
        John
        • 3 Months Ago
        This hydrulic drive car probably does work. It seems it would depend on the design of the drive motors.If the motors were say atleast 24 inches in diameter and about 3 inches wide, then you would be useing a 12 inch lever to turn the axle. This would use very little energy to propel the car. Try pushing a car by hand from the front or rear, it is very difficult. Now try pushing the same car from the top of one of its tires in a rolling motion,it is very easy. If you had a motor like this at each wheel and maybe with a 2/1 planetary drive I think you would have incredable power with very little energy output. The little engine would sit there and idle all day long.
        • 3 Months Ago
        http://www.valentintechnologies.com/concept/default.html

        The accumulator is a container for pressurized fluid, the energy which drives the car. The bladder at the inside is charged with pressurized gas (Nitrogen) and fills the whole container when the accumulator is empty. When fluid is pumped into the accumulator to store energy, the size of the bladder shrinks and the pressure increases.

        ----------------------------------

        WARNING TO INVESTORS!!!

        Regardless of the technological nuances... this car stores it's energy as COMPRESSED NITROGEN GAS.

        The only difference is using an on-board free piston Internal Combustion Engine and fluid pressure transfer to compress the gas in it's "Accumulator" (fancier word for gas compression chamber) and also uses fluid to transfer energy to and from the wheels.

        *** It is deceptive to label the technology as they have because the pressurized fluid is ONLY A TRANSFER MECHANISM. The fluid is neither the source of energy nor a means to store energy.

        Fossil Fuels are the source and compressed Nitrogen is the storage.

        While a typical compressed air car would use a normal piston engine to run a compressor.

        "The 2-stroke Diesel engine with two opposed free-pistons, transfers the combustion pressure directly into pressurized hydraulic fluid"

        Yes, you can cut back on consumption by using this engine design. But not by the amount they claim.

        -------------------------------------------------

        The design is similar to using a free-piston Internal Combustion Engine electrical generator (Induction Coils around free piston assembly) and spinning up a flywheel to power the electric motor.

        Once again, a startup looking for ignorant investors takes a known idea and calls it something different to make it look like a breakthrough.

        • 3 Months Ago
        3 things that make this look like vaporware:

        1) Most of the emphasis from Valentin Technology seems to be on the socio-political and environmental concerns of it's technology rather than specifications of it's technology.

        This implies appealing to emotional responses of importance rather than realistic possibility. Investors are meant to be overwhelmed.

        2) Using PESwiki as a source for credibility of the technology on their homepage.
        http://www.valentintechnologies.com
        That site has a majority of pseudoscience and half-baked ideas... not real solutions.

        3) Some expert validation has been received in a response through an advertisement in the New York Times from February 14, 1996:
        https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http://www.valentintechnologies.com/media-library/art/NYT-Ad-10-23-09.pdf

        • 3 Months Ago
        The bizzare part is their plan for an electric hybrid, apparently using a battery and electric motor to pump the hydraulic oil for the reservoir. Unnecessary energy transformations with associated energy losses.

        This was one of the early entries for the Automotive X Prize, but haven't heard anything recently - did they drop out? Or did they just not pass the first elimination round?
      Charles Eskra
      • 3 Months Ago
      It is all a scam, If it were real, the money would be there, they would be driving it, or make a smaller test version, some designer., a BS designer. 3.8 million needed wow.

      show us the earlier version that gets 130 mpg. I just see a dream, no reality.
      • 3 Months Ago
      anything is possible
      • 3 Months Ago
      With an electric compressor you could pressurise the accumulator from grid electricity and save a bit more fuel.

      Hydraulic technology is pretty mature and is used to handle huge loads in earth moving applications. Also it should be pretty modular, if one bit breaks you can just replace it and repressurise the system.
        • 3 Months Ago
        Yes, but the energy density of a hydraulic accumulator is rather low compared to batteries, it would hardly be worth it. Total energy storage ls less than a standard (non-plug in) hybrid.
      Charles Eskra
      • 3 Months Ago
      The real question is . What is the life span of this car?? 100, 000 miles? more or less?
      fymayawf
      • 3 Months Ago
      Typical...everybody criticizing and nobody offering solutions..
      • 3 Months Ago
      An earlier version of the IngoCar got "just" 130 mpg and, but the designers dropped 600 pounds (down to 1,600 lbs.) and improved the engine efficiency by 20 percent. We want to see the technology in action, but Valentin says that $3.8 million would be needed to prototype the IngoCar.

      I don't get it. What was the early version that got 130mpg? Wouldn't this be the prototype?

      I hope OPEC (or an OPEC buddy) doesn't kill this technology too.
      meanvee
      • 3 Months Ago
      I have got to see it to believe it, 1000 miles on 6 gallons of gas!!, show me the money!
      Ethan
      • 3 Months Ago
      Funny!
      The design looks exactly like the prototype 2012 plug-in Prius!
      sothbdr
      • 3 Months Ago
      Go for it! It's the same weight as a Geo Metro with potentially 4x the gas mileage. It looks like a winner if it can work over the long haul and would certainly provide emissions just above the level of walking! I like it and the idea of resembling the Netbook of automobiles without a water or oil pump.. If they can mass produce it for a reasonable price it will be bigger than the VW Beetle.
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