Diesel-Hydraulic HybridsPosted April 10
The INGOCAR is a new 5 seater concept car that partners diesel and hydraulic power to create a hybrid that has the potential to be far more fuel efficient than traditional petrol-electric hybrids.
The design utilises a small, lightweight and very efficient 2 stroke diesel engine to pressurise the accumulator, which stores the hydraulic power. The accumulator feeds one wheel motor on each wheel which propels the car. The diesel engine never powers the wheels directly. Researchers say that 170 miles per gallon is possible since a diesel-hydraulic hybrid boasts several efficiencies over a petrol-electric hybrid.
Hydraulic powertrains are far less heavy than electric powertrains because hydraulic motors are very small and lightweight. Although the accumulators weigh about the same as batteries, because of the large weight savings in the motors it is estimated that the INGOCAR would weigh just 1000 kg, which is almost 30% lighter than the Prius.
Regenerative braking is far more efficient when coupled with a hydraulic system than an electric one. The wheel motors that power the car are also responsible for both braking and recovery of energy. It's hoped that they would be able recapture between 75 and 85 percent of energy for use in repressurising the accumulators.
The INGOCAR is an intriguing developmental concept that we hope makes it into production. It'll be interesting to see how its price and driving characteristics compare to electric hybrids. The INGOCAR is being developed by Valentin Technologies.
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