Behold a cheaper version of BMW's range extender for its i3 plug-in. And it's brought to you by ... Honda? Sort of, if you take the approach that Gadget Review took when it looked for an alternative to ponying up the $4,000 or so for the gas-powered i3 range extender that comes from the factory.
We often hear how an electric vehicle powertrain architecture allows vehicle designers much more freedom than a traditional ICE powertrain does. With differently shaped battery modules and small electric motors, there are lots of way to put the pieces together. With today's plug-in hybrid technology, engineers still need to put a decent-sized ICE somewhere, but new technology from Toyota could free up the gas-electric vehicle designers of the future.
The idea of capturing the energy of vibrations and storing it is not new, but here is another attempt at the idea, courtesy of Gizmag. Dr Steve Beeby and his team at the University of Southampton have created this version of the kinetic energy generator. The last time we discussed this idea, it was mentioned that perhaps a device like this could be used on a vehicle; it would take many of them to generate any meaningful electrical power. This version has many possible uses, some of them cited in
I am not going to write too much about this invention, because any reasons that I could come up with for it having to do with automobiles are pretty weak. But, we do often mention solar power and wind power when we are writing our posts, and I just thought that this idea is too good to pass up writing a post about. So, I did; I hope you enjoy reading about it.
In terms of efficiency, cars driven by humans are fickle. There's only ever one optimal accelerator position for the best fuel efficiency, no matter what gear you're in. This leads to the situation where the imprecise driving of humans is responsible for lowered fuel efficiency and performance. But what if you could tweak the vehicle's software just a little to take human behaviour into account? John Kessels, who just obtained his doctorate from the Technical University Eindhoven (Netherlands),
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