More automakers are coming forward with plug-in hybrid vehicle concepts. Volvo has introduced its ReCharge concept, based on the Volvo C60, which is a "serial hybrid," similar to the GM E-Flex vehicles like the Chevy Volt and the Opel Flextreme.
The Volvo ReCharge is supposed to have a 60 mile (100 kilometer) battery range, making it even more likely to be a desirable all plug-in commuter vehicle. While on-board systems engage the engine to generate power when the battery power level gets too low, there is also a button that lets the driver select whether to drive using the gas engine or battery power. "This allows the driver to start the engine earlier in order to maximize battery charge, for instance when out on the highway in order to save battery capacity for driving through the next town."
The serial hybrid system means that the ReCharge has no direct connection between the gasoline engine and the drive train. The engine only powers an on board generator that supplies electricity to the vehicle systems. This allows traction control at each individual wheel as well as better weight distribution.
"When driving on electric power only, operating costs are expected to be about 80 percent lower than that of a comparable petrol-powered car." A full charge for the lithium polymer battery pack is supposed to take only three hours.
While only a concept vehicle at this stage, this is another entry into the plug-in hybrid field, showing that the next few years are going to be very interesting in the automotive world.
|< Prev||Next >|