'Boost Hybrid' system one-third cost of regular hybrid powertrains

To convince naysayers and an increasingly skeptical public about hybrids, automakers from Subaru Motors, Suzuki Motor Corp., to the hybrid "powerhouse" Toyota, are scrambling to develop a low-cost version of the technology.

U.K. developers Integral Powertrain and NexxtDrive are currently testing one such system. Called the SuperGen i-Hybrid, the system seems to combine a super-charger with electric motors:

The core of the SuperGen technology is a unit connected by belt to the engine crankshaft, which contains a compressor, two electric motor/generators and an advanced gearing system that allows the speed of the compressor to be varied from zero up to 150 times crank speed. Depending on vehicle mode, a set of control algorithms determines the energy flow between the electrical machines and a capacitor bank capable of storing 300kJ. When needed, up to 14kW of electrical energy is dynamically allocated between direct torque assist and pressure boosting to improve torque output from the engine.

According to the company, SuperGen i-Hybrid can achieve 170bph and accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in 7.7 seconds while with CO2 emissions of 120g/km (.62 miles). More importantly, though, the engine only cost a third of current hybrid systems and can be fitted into today's current vehicles. While Integral Powertrain and NexxtDrive state automotive companies are interested in the technology, none have been specifically named in the article.

[Source: Auto Industry]

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