Plug-Ins and Airplane Technology? Firm Develops a Turbine-Powered Electric Hybrid Car

turbine.jpgIsraeli start-up ETV Motors is testing what it hopes will be the future of the hybrid electric automobile. The car, yet to be named, does not have an internal combustion engine like many hybrid vehicles. Instead, the Israeli hybrid has an electric engine (in the rear of the vehicle) that is comprised of two primary parts: a super-capacity (high density) battery and micro-jet turbine engine.
The 4.7-volt lithium battery will exceed the voltage of existing lithium-ion batteries, which typically have just 3.2 volts. By allowing for longer driving distances with a smaller battery, the high voltage is expected to increase the vehicle’s longevity.

The turbine engine, developed with the assistance of an Israeli aviations firm, will act as an on-board charger for the battery. The engine will run at a constant, maximum-efficiency speed of 80,000 RPM. It will also be compatible with a number of fuel sources (including biofuel, gasoline, and diesel).
The battery-engine apparatus is expected to fuel the vehicle for approximately 35 to 50 miles (60 to 80 km) on one charge – more than twice as long as many existing plug-in hybrid models, which rely solely on complex electric charging infrastructures in the vehicle. (The ETV vehicle is compatible with plug-in charging but not dependent on it.)
ETV Motors, which has raised some $12 million in investments, reportedly believes the vehicle will be commercially viable. The company is developing several newly designed components and expects the vehicle to be ready for testing next year.

Sarah Harper is a professional writer based in San Francisco, California. Her interests include sustainability, government policy, and international politics. In her free time, Sarah enjoys toying with the idea of holistic health, overanalysis, and plotting world exploration.

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