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Automotive GM Volt / Vauxhall Ampera and series hyrbrid cars

  1. Mar 12, 2012 #1

    In this series hybrid, engine and generator charge the battery and battery powers the motor, and can be made with components already available. The Ampera is claimed to do 175mpg (vs 40mpg on my current car). So I wonder why there aren't more cars like this already? Conspiracy?

    Is it really more efficient to use the engine as a generator to power a battery which powers a motor? Can someone show some numbers on this?

    If it is efficient, can this system be easily retrofitted on cars? Not like the Ampera/Volt where it can run from battery alone for 30+ miles, but enough battery to get the car moving and get the starter motor of the engine/generator going?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 12, 2012 #2


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    How about expense? I recently saw a Chevy S-10 pickup which had been converted to electric. Owner said it cost over $8k to do the conversion. Electrics are expensive.

    Where you gain is that the ICE can be set to run at it's most efficient speed, rather then constantly changing speed as when being used to control the speed of the car.
  4. Mar 13, 2012 #3

    jim hardy

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    It was popular back in 70's. People liked the Opels.

    "Mother Earth News" magazine had many articles back then, probably they could be found online.
    Here's a fellow who sells electric motors for EV hobyists.
  5. Mar 17, 2012 #4
    The advantage of a series hybrid is that you can plug it in and go the first few miles on electric only, after that they are less efficient then a conventional drivetrain on the highway. Compare a Chevy Volt with a Cruze Eco. On gas only the Volt gets 37 mpg on the highway but the Cruze gets 42.

    Regenerative braking will give any hybrid a decided advantage in town, weather it be a series hybrid, parallel hybrid, or a Two-mode.
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