Mitsubishi to build range-extended hybrid
The cX concept car?
Leccy Tech Mitsubishi has confirmed plans to launch a range-extended hybrid at the end of 2010.
Will Mitsubishi's range-extended hybrid be based on the cX concept?
The company told Register Hardware that the vehicle will be a small SUV, akin to Nissan's Qashqai or Toyota's RAV4. This could suggest a car very similar in design to the cX concept, unveiled by Mitsubishi at the 2007 Frankfurt motor show.
Mitsubishi also told us that the, as-yet unnamed, leccy SUV will use a drive train similar in concept to the Voltec system - currently being developed for the Chevrolet Volt by General Motors.
While Mitsubishi wasn’t willing to release many precise technical details about its upcoming vehicle, we do know that it will have a lithium-ion battery pack inside that can be recharged from a wall socket.
The pack will provide enough power for 40 miles of electric-only driving. Once depleted, a small petrol engine – the 52bhp, 660cc turbo-charged three cylinder motor from the Mitsubishi 'i' city car would seem a likely choice – will kick in. This will drive a generator, which in turn will power the electric-drive motors, re-charge the battery pack and keep you moving for another 200 miles or so.
Assuming Mitsubishi manages to get the hybrid into showrooms on schedule, then the car will go head-to-head with the Volt – due to be launched in North America during late 2010, into Europe in 2011 and across other right-hand drive markets throughout 2012.
And Mitsubishi’s confident it can meet the deadline, emphasising the fact that bringing the iMiEV to market as the first genuine mass-market e-car gives it a head start in the race to develop a usable range of e-cars to fit most user needs and circumstances.
The company refused to speculate about the likely cost of the upcoming range-extended hybrid, but did reveal that Blighty will be one of the first overseas markets to get it. ®
>>The Prius is horribly compromised and over complicated.<<
Sounds like someone doesn't have a clue how the Prius transmission actually works.
Do a Google on "Hybrid Synergy" if you want to get the details, but it's actually extremely simple and efficient - far simpler than the simplest manual gearbox in fact. That's probably what accounts for its legendary reliability and durability.
It has no clutch or torque converter. The gears are constantly meshed, so there are no brake bands, synchromesh or any other gear-changing mechanism. In fact there's no actual gearbox as such, unless you regard a differential as being a gearbox (in which case a normal car has two gear boxes).
The hybrid synergy transmission just consists of a simple differential mechanism surrounded by some very clever electronics. It an example of brilliant engineering - simple but very effective, with very little to go wrong. It combines the efficiency of a mechanical gearbox at high speeds with the high torque and continuously variable characteristics of an electric transmission at low speeds.
Also, can we stop the nonsense about battery durability. Toyota have just retrospectively increased the battery warranty to 8 years/160000KM. (I had a letter from them about it last week). How many other major car components have a warranty like that?
The market for these is second cars, that means soccer mom taking the kids to school and doing the shopping. The car makers have just spent 10years and a squillion $ convincing them that driving anything other than an SUV will cause their children to be squashed and eaten by paedos.
It also means that the price/performance only has to compare with small SUVs which isn't exactly difficult