Tag Archives: PHEV

BYD’s Electric Car Technology

BYD Auto, offspring of Chinese cell phone lithium-ion battery giant, will soon be releasing two electric car drivetrains.  One will be the fully electric F3e technology, which will allow for a top speed of over 150km/h, a 13.5s 0-100 km/h acceleration, 300km / per charge range, and and a battery life-cycle of about 600,000km. This stems from their superior Fe battery technology. The Fe-battery has such innovative advantages as low cost, zero pollution, zero noise and recyclable. It can deliver voltage twice as high as a standard Ni-MH battery, while costing less than comparable batteries.
Fe Battery

BYD is also making a huge investment into range extended vehicles, notably the BYD DM (Dual Mode).  The BYD site seems to try to distinguish this as something more than an electric vehicle with a gasoline range extender, but they are not very clear. This is how BYD describes their technology:

As early as in 2003, BYD started DM electric vehicles project, on which currently 500 auto engineers are working. DM stands for Dual Mode and BYD DM (Dual Mode) electric vehicle combines a solely electric vehicle system and a hybrid power system. The DM hybrid system is an advanced technology which integrates two hybrid powers to control electricity generator and electric motor, thus not only massively reducing fuel consumption and emission but also enhancing the power and operation performance. In addition, it enables dual energy supplies via both recharging and refueling, which makes up the dual mode hybrid system in the real sense. If we call an electric driven system “EV” and the hybrid electric system “HEV”, then BYD DM should be named “EV + HEV”. This system is bound to replace the traditional electric-gasoline hybrid system, becoming the most popular and advanced new energy hybrid system in the world.


Source: BYD Auto

Ford lays out plan with Electric Cars

Wow, desperate times call for desperate measures. The main story on FOXnews.com today is
about how Ford Motor Co. CEO, Alan Mulally, says he’ll work for $1 per year if Ford takes any government loan money. The plan Ford is presenting to Congress this week also says it will cancel all management employees’ 2009 bonuses and will not pay any merit increases for its North American salaried employees next year. Mulally said in an interview Tuesday that Ford will emphasize its cost cutting efforts with the United Auto Workers union and will give much more detail to Congress than it did during a visit earlier this month. The company also will accelerate plans to roll out electric cars as part of the plan it will present to Congress this week.

Source: FOXNews.com

I also have the Ford Business Plan here, the one submitted to the Senate Banking Committee. I found the parts that involved their plans to implement hybrid and fully electric cars into their fleet and posted it below. Stuff I left out is mostly a bunch of puff about how they will build better quality cars, why they are in trouble, and how sorry they are.  Their electric car plans remain quite vague and they insist they need a technological breakthrough in battery technology to implement them on a wide scale. They “cannot work alone.”

Ford Business Plan: Electrification Strategy Excerpt

Sustainability and Electrification Strategy
Ford’s sustainability plan will achieve continuous and substantial improvement in fuel economy and a corresponding reductionin CO2 through affordable technology in high volume. Ford’s plan is to make affordable fuel efficiency available to millions of consumers. They also plan to build smaller cars, and only touch on their commitment to continue ethanol and biofuels once.

Our three-phased approach with near-term, medium-term and long-term advanced technologies and products  begins now with advanced internal combustion engine and transmission technologies, such as our EcoBoost engines going into production on several vehicles in 2009. The next major step in
Ford’s plan is to increase over time the volume of electrified vehicles, as battery costs improve
and as the transition from Hybrids to Plug-in Hybrids to Battery Electric Vehicles occurs.

Next month at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, we will
discuss in detail Ford’s accelerated vehicle electrification plan, which includes bringing
to market by 2012 a family of hybrids, plug-in hybrids and battery electric vehicles. Our
work will include partnering with battery and powertrain systems suppliers to deliver a
full battery electric vehicle (BEV) in a van-type vehicle for commercial fleet use in 2010
and a BEV sedan in 2011.
We will develop these vehicles in a manner that enables us
to reduce costs and ultimately makes battery electric powered vehicles more affordable
for consumers.

Our plan also includes building on our competence in hybrid vehicles, as
demonstrated by the industry-leading fuel economy of the Ford Escape and Ford Fusion
hybrids. We are now developing our next generation full hybrid technology, which
includes plug-in capability, for vehicles in 2012 and beyond. We are targeting a
substantial increase in hybrid volume through a greater than 30% reduction in cost,
installation of hybrid capability in global platforms and hybrid vehicles that are uniquely

Ford’s three-phased approach to sustainability provides immediate and significant improvements on a wide scale and accelerated electrification, including next generation hybrids and all-electric

We cannot, however, accomplish significant electrification by ourselves. The
2007 Energy Independence and Security Act requires American-developed breakthroughs in high-power energy batteries (e.g. lithium ion). In order to make significant progress in electrification, Ford supports establishing a U.S. public/private partnership to accelerate the development of this capability, including supporting infrastructure, within the United States.

Ford supports a public/private partnership to develop next generation battery technology

(Ford will) Continue to develop and deploy hybrids while reducing cost for expanded market applications. Ford was the first U.S. company to introduce a hybrid with the introduction of the Ford Escape Hybrid in 2004 and the Escape and Mariner Hybrids remain the fuel-economy leaders among all sport utilities. Full HEV nameplate offerings and volume will double in 2009 with introduction of Ford
Fusion and Mercury Milan Hybrids, which best the Toyota Camry hybrid by at least six mpg.

Achieve annual fuel savings of 2.5 billion gallons by 2012 model year and 3.1 billion gallons by 2015 model year from new fuel efficient vehicle.

Fisker Karma and the Q Drive Drivetrain

Fisker Karma

The Karma’s Q DRIVE configuration consists of a small gasoline engine that turns the generator, which charges the lithium ion battery pack, powering the electric motor and turning the rear wheels. The vehicle will have an all electric range of 50 miles before the gasoline powered 4-cylinder engine generator kicks in. After this, the full range jumps up to over 350 miles. The Karma has regenerative braking that will help recharge the batteries, much like the Tesla Roadster and many modern electric vehicles. Patrons will also have the option to purchase a full-length solar roof that will help charge the car and provide cooling for the interior cabin while the car is parked. Fisker Automotive will even offer consumers an option to purchase a set of solar panels for their roofs or garages where they can generate electricity during the day to charge the car overnight.

Initial deliveries will commence in the 4th quarter of 2009, with annual production projected to reach 15,000 units.  More info can be found at fiskerautomotive.com.

What Obama means for the Electric Car

I try not to exhibit any political bias on this site because, hey, republican, democrat, libertarian, independent, everyone likes cars. And both political frontrunners this year made strong appeals for renewable, clean energy as well as electric vehicles.

McCain stressed energy independence as a way of improving international relations, because “we need to stop buying oil from countries that don’t like us very much” (he used this argument frequently). He also threw out a proposal for a $300 million dollar government prize for whoever develops an automobile battery that far surpasses current battery technology. McCain proposed to cut ethanol subsidies, which , in my opinion, is a dead horse, and offer a $5,000 tax credit to zero-emission car buyers. Obama proposed a $7000 credit for advanced-technology vehicles, plug-ins included.

Barack Obama also shed some light on his electric automobile intentions as he cut down McCain’s battery race:

After all those years in Washington, John McCain still doesn’t get it. I commend him for his desire to accelerate the search for a battery that can power the cars of the future. I’ve been talking about this myself for the last few years. But I don’t think a $300 million prize is enough. When John F. Kennedy decided that we were going to put a man on the moon, he didn’t put a bounty out for some rocket scientist to win – he put the full resources of the United States government behind the project and called on the ingenuity and innovation of the American people. – Barack Obama, Las Vegas, June 24th, 2008.

It was a pretty close presidential race in terms of being EV friendly. But as the McCain campaign went on, things went downhill. He picked Sarah Palin, who still doesn’t believe that global warming is man made. Odd, because she vowed to solve global warming somehow, without discerning the cause. Just look at Joe Biden, a longtime champion of clean tech and climate change legislation, and compare him to her. Her slogan was “drill baby drill” while Biden wants to eliminate oil company subsidies and raise gas mileage mandates:

Take away the subsidy, which I’ve introduced legislation to do. It’s about $6 billion, $2.7 billion directly, to the oil companies, number one. Number two, investigate as the president of the US. Use the Justice Department and go in and investigate this whole issue of price gouging. Number three, though, we have to do what we all have said here, but first and foremost, significantly raise the mileage automobiles get and mandate it. – Joe Biden

Source: 2007 Dem. debate at Saint Anselm College Jun 3, 2007

Obama was not very well received when, in May, he enlightened the Detroit Auto crowd to the fact that, unless they change their ways and provide more fuel-efficient cars, they will not be able to compete with the rest of the world. Unfortunately, it may be too late for GM, as it is spiraling towards bankruptcy unless they receive a government handout. And GM doesn’t seem to want to change its ways. Obama is already stressing the importance of passing a bill that will infuse $25 billion into the big 3 automakers with stipulations that force them to invest in alternative vehicles and PHEV’s. Bailing out the big 3 could be helpful to the electric car market, as Chrysler and GM are currently developing electric cars in the Volt and ENVI programs. Saving US automakers and forcing the PHEV issue would be imperative to his plan to have 1 million PHEV on the road by 2015.

A TIME article from October 22, 2008 by Joe Klein really clarifies Obama’s intentions to build a new economy based around renewable energy development:

From Time:

[Obama] has a clearer handle on the big picture, on how various policy components fit together, and a strong sense of what his top priority would be. He wants to launch an “Apollo project” to build a new alternative-energy economy. His rationale for doing so includes some hard truths about the current economic mess: “The engine of economic growth for the past 20 years is not going to be there for the next 20. That was consumer spending. Basically, we turbocharged this economy based on cheap credit.” But the days of easy credit are over, Obama said, “because there is too much deleveraging taking place, too much debt.” A new economic turbocharger is going to have to be found, and “there is no better potential driver that pervades all aspects of our economy than a new energy economy … That’s going to be my No. 1 priority when I get into office.

Also, take into account that Obama was endorsed by Al Gore, while McCain was endorsed by George Bush and Dick Cheney. During a presidential campaign, candidates say a lot of things to appeal to a moderate public. You have to look at who endorses them and what their party stands for to get a better idea of what the candidate will actually do, once in office. The Democratic party has always been the greener party and the Obama victory is a step in the right direction for electric auto technology.

Here are some useful sites to get an idea of where Obama stands on green technology:
Clean Tech and Green Business for Obama
Obama Homepage
Popular Mechanics:McCain, Obama Promise Plug-in Cars as Detroit Charts a Timetable

Fisker Automotive helps out Michigan

Fisker KarmaFisker Automotive announced today that it is opening a new, 34,000-sq-ft Engineering and Development Center in Pontiac, Michigan. This is great news for the struggling automotive state that has a dearth of newly jobless, skilled automotive professionals. Fisker’s 34,000 square-foot location is expected to employ only around 200 workers, with 130 jobs already spoken for as of today. This announcement comes days after their legal victory over Tesla. Tesla Motors accused Fisker Automotive of stealing confidential design information and trade secrets while Fisker was contracted to help in designing Tesla’s future cars. This move to Michigan also comes not long after Tesla announced they would be closing down their Rochester Hills office near Detroit.

“The available talent, supplier base, and infrastructure in Michigan will help us reach our production goal,” said Fisker Automotive COO Bernhard Koehler. “While Fisker Automotive will continue to be headquartered in Irvine, California, the new facility will allow us the opportunity to collaborate with our Michigan supplier base and have everyone under one roof.”

The 200 engineers and designers will work on the Fisker Karma, the company’s first vehicle. The Karma is a plug-in hybrid that will travel 50 miles on electricity alone and have a maximum range of 350 miles, with a 0-60 mph time under 6 sec and and a top speed of 125 mph. The car will go on sale at the end of 2009 in North America and later in Europe. Fisker hopes to be building 15,000 cars annually by 2011. Estimated pricetag is around $80,000.

Sources: [Autoblog, Motortrend]