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Lotus Engineering has reached an agreement with the Spanish Fagor Ederlan Group to develop and produce a small engine for use as a range extender in electric vehicles – a system similar to that found in the Chevrolet Volt. Lotus first showed its 1.2-liter inline-three engine at the Geneva Motor Show in the Evora 414E and Proton Emas concepts.
We knew it was too good to be true. Something about the Chevrolet Volt just didn't add up. How did General Motors, a corporate leviathan known showing very little forward thinking in the green car arena (except for the EV-1 experiment) manage to create a real contender in the EV market? The answer? They stole it from Daihatsu.
The latest product of Lotus Engineering's ongoing development work on alternative drivetrains is a new engine custom designed for use as a range extender in electric drive vehicles. The engineers at Lotus have developed an optimized architecture using a mono-block layout that combines the cylinder head, exhaust manifold and cylinder block into a single casting. Such an architecture allows for lower weight and reduced cost which is critical to making range extended EVs or series hybrids economica
Over the last century and a half engineers and designers have created a wide array of different combustion engine designs. In spite of certain inherent advantages of some of these designs, the traditional four stroke reciprocating engine has continued to dominate the transportation space. Many of these alternatives have worked in principle but have never been adopted for several reasons. The most important reason is typically the problem of converting the chemical energy of combustion into rotat
A few months back, Tesla Motors revealed that its upcoming WhiteStar sedan would be available in two variants, a pure battery electric like the Roadster and a range-extended electric more like the Chevy Volt. We still don't have many details on the car, although we do know that lessons learned while working on the drivetrain for the heavier sedan have been fed back into the Roadster for its updated 2.0 drivetrain.
Nissan has been telling us over and over again that they will have electric cars for sale by 2010 and we are pretty darn sure they're serious about it. However, that doesn't mean that they are so committed to zero emissions that they won't explore less idyllic possibilities. Conscious of a vocal segment of the car-buying public that wishes to be able to travel well beyond the current range of a battery electric vehicle without having to stop for hours to re-charge, Nissan/Renault head Carlos Gho
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