Friday, 5 August 2011

Range Extenders Add 620 Mile Range to Volvo Electric Cars

Volvo’s Flywheel KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) hybrid system was the first of many gas-electric experiments for the Scandinavian automaker. Now the focus is on range extenders for electric vehicles. Volvo is working on three different combinations of gas engines and electric motors which it claims can push the electric car’s at least 620 miles (1000 km) further than on battery power alone. All three versions use three-cylinder engines that can run on gasoline or E85 combined with electric generators and motors.
The first two systems are based on the Volvo C30 Electric and the third is based on the V60 wagon. Both systems for the C30 necessitate a smaller battery pack to fit the internal combustion engine installed under the rear load compartment floor and its 10.5 gallon (40 liter) fuel tank. All three systems feature brake energy regeneration.
The first C30 Electric-based concept uses a series-connected range extender which utilizes a naturally-aspirated 60-hp three-cylinder engine. The I-3 is connected to a 40 kW generator which drives the car’s 111-hp (82 kW) electric motor. The system offers a driver selectable option to let the generator charge the battery pack, increasing the car’s operating range on electric power alone. Volvo claims this range extender increases the electric car’s range by as much as 620 miles (1000 km) over the 69-mile (110 km) range of the battery pack.

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