There are companies that burst onto the scene producing not one, but several innovative products and there are companies that promise lots of tech that just sounds too good to be true. Which category ETV Motors falls into is yet to be determined, but their recent demonstration of a proof-of-concept range extended electric vehicle (REEV) utilizing a microturbine for power generation should certainly have folks discussing both possibilities. While they are not the first to use a microturbine as a range extender, they claim that their machine is superior to current state-of-the-art examples and will reach efficiencies of up to 60 percent in the final production version.
Using a Prius as their prototype platform, they replaced the stock nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) battery with large format lithium ion one and installed a liquid fueled gas turbine to charge it. Apparently, the gas engine in the vehicle was disabled for the test. In operation, the turbine's "quiet whisper" was, according to ETV Motors chief executive Dror Ben David,"music to our ears." Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be video available of the session, so we can't share this sweet sound with you.
Perhaps even a bigger breakthrough is the battery tech the Israeli company is developing. While it's unclear whether it was involved in the REEV demonstration, they are working on a couple different cells using lithium manganese nickel oxide (LMNS). The best of these is said provide 240 Wh/kg, be capable of achieving over 3,000 cycles and cost as little as $200/kWh. Impressive stuff indeed though, as with so many ventures in their infancy, time will tell. Hit the jump for video for ETV Motors COO talking up his company as well as the official press release.
[Source: ETV Motors via Green Car Congress]
ETV Motors successfully completes milestone demonstration of turbine-charged electric vehicle
2009-07-11 23:01:36 - ETV Motors Ltd. announced the successful completion of a milestone test of its novel Range-Extended Electric Vehicle (REEV) architecture. A gas microturbine generator re-charges the battery when it depletes, enabling the vehicle's driving range to be significantly extended. For this test drive, ETVM engineers modified a Toyota Prius, replacing the nickel metal hydride battery with a large-format Lithium Ion battery. A liquid fueled, gas turbine generator was retrofitted to the car to charge the battery.
HERZLIYA, Israel – July 12, 2009: ETV Motors Ltd. (ETVM), an Israeli start-up developing innovative electric-vehicle (EV) propulsion technology, announced today it had successfully completed a milestone test of its novel Range-Extended Electric Vehicle (REEV) architecture.
The company's REEV architecture includes an on-board charger. While the vehicle is in motion, a gas microturbine generator re-charges the battery when it depletes. Re-charging the battery's energy level in this way enables the vehicle's driving range to be significantly extended
For its milestone test drive, the company modified a Toyota Prius sedan, replacing its factory-supplied nickel metal hydride battery with a large-format Lithium Ion battery. A liquid fueled, gas turbine generator was retrofitted to the car to charge the battery.
With its standard internal combustion engine disabled, the customized vehicle operates as a plug-in hybrid, complete with onboard range extender.
ETV Motors' innovative new battery and microturbine technology leverages advanced nanotechnology and aviation engineering principles to deliver greater energy efficiency than today's hybrid electric vehicle platforms. Automobile and automotive subsystem manufacturers utilizing ETV Motors' REEV architecture to power automotive EV drivetrains will ensure significantly longer driving ranges and lower operating costs for their customers.
"This milestone is a major pre-requisite for materializing our vision of plug-in EVs equipped with fuel-efficient, low-emission gas turbines for range extension", commented ETV Motors chief executive Dror Ben David.
"To those of us working to make the vision real, the on-board turbine's quiet whisper was music to our ears."
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About ETV Motors Ltd: ETVM is developing and commercializing novel technology for electrical vehicle propulsion. It draws on the interdisciplinary experience of a team with strong backgrounds in industry and academia. The company was established in 2008. More information at www.etvmotors.com