It seems that the lessons learned in developing a mechanical KERS system for F1 may yet hold the key to a low-cost, high-efficiency hybrid system particularly suited for the stop-start patterns of buses, which are quite similar to the distances between capturing and delivering energy of those of a race car. Torotrak will deliver a paper at the SAE Commercial Vehicle Congress in Illinois next week showing how flywheel KERS for buses can offer more than 30 percent fuel saving over the London bus test cycle, yet package around an existing transmission.
Most of the efforts to produce more environmentally-friendly cars in recent years have focused on alternative fuels
and more efficient engines
. UK-based engineering company, Torotrak, has instead decided to turn its expertise to another vehicle component with the development of a new generation transmission that it claims can not only slash CO2 emissions and improve fuel efficiency, but also boost performance.
Nissan and its transmission supplier Jatco have developed a next generation CVT (continuously variable transmission) that promises better fuel economy and performance in a compact and lightweight package. The new CVT combines conventional CVT belt operation with an auxiliary gearbox and has a significantly increased gear ratio range – roughly 20 percent higher than other CVTs and among the world's highest for production vehicles according to Nissan.
are a uniquely Japanese phenomena which began as a tax and insurance stimulus for the Japanese car industry in the post WWII era. Kei regulations only restrict physical size, engine displacement and power, so manufacturers have used every square centimetre and stacked it with as many advanced technologies as possible. The top-selling Kei car is Suzuki's Wagon R
which offers a DOHC VVT 660cc engine, CVT transmission, engine stop-start, EBD, ABS, plus a Viscodrive coupling that provides on-demand AWD capability without electronics. Prices start at under 10 million yen (USD 9100) and the fully optioned Wagon R still comes in at under USD15,000. Maybe we need a similar stimulus based around size and emissions.
The Soul Hybrid concept will be one of four world premiers from Kia at the Paris Motor show next week. Powered by Kia’s Gamma 1.6-liter petrol engine combined with a 15 kW, 105 Nm AC synchronized electric motor and the company's CVT (continuously variable transmission), the concept promises fuel efficiency of 57.6 mpg and CO2 emissions of 117 g/km.
Yamaha is developing a CVT (Constantly Variable Transmission)
enduro machine according to recent patent applications. Conceived
by Leonardo da Vinci 500 years ago, the CVT power delivery characteristics could well be a boon in slippery off-road conditions, particularly with some help from a computer. The CVT's biggest advantage is ensuring the motor is always running “in the power band” and as the infinitely variable gear ratios change, it should deliver one smooth rush of power from standstill to top speed.
Electric/pedal power hybrid bicycles make a lot of sense as commuters. With a small amount of battery power to augment your pedaling efforts, you can achieve extra speed and distance while leaving a minimal environmental footprint and paying next to nothing per kilometer. The Electrobike Pi is a fine example of the state of the art: packed with nifty technology in a design marked by its distinctive arch frame, the Pi is speed limited to 20 mph when powered by the 36V/500 watt electric motor alone - slotting neatly under the maximum power and speed figures allowable in California without a motorcycle license - and you can travel around 25 miles without troubling the pedals.
October 30, 2007 What a hoot! Piaggio’s
new carving three-wheeler
, with two independently suspended front wheels, opens up yet another whole new category of motorcycle
– a category that will surely explode once people get a glimpse of the ability of these stunning bikes. The MP3’s triangle footprint produces some sensational handling characteristics, making it an exceptionally fool-proof learner/commuter bike – as well as a hilarious hooligan tool for more experienced riders. Gizmag spent an afternoon with the scooter
that just won’t let you mess things up.
The product of several ongoing trends in the two-wheeled arena, Honda's concept Elysium is futuristic all-weather mega-scooter.Yamaha started it all with the 250 Majesty, Suzuki followed with a 400 scooter, Yamaha went to the T-Max 500 and Suzuki countered with the Suzuki 650 Bergman
we tested in Gizmo 5.Honda's new concept continues the capacity creep for scooters of recent years and trumps them all, being powered by a liquid-cooled 4-stroke flat-4 engine with a low center of gravity and plenty of grunt.
The Benelli Adiva is one of the most interesting new concepts in personal transportation for many years - a two-wheeled cabriolet scooter offering more collision and weather protection than any other available two wheeler, yet all the parking, accessibility and agility advantages of a small motorcycle. In European cities, where parking and road space is limited, this type of car-scooter hybrid is beginning to get a lot of attention as commuters are exploring new, more convenient types of personal transport.