The next step in the evolution of the Automobile!
There is no doubt that Hybrid vehicle propulsion technology will be the next big thing in the automobile and truck industry.
I wrote this in February 2005 and now hybrid cars are not only the next big thing in automobiles they are the big thing!
Hybrid vehicles and hybrid cars have fascinated me since I first learned of Dr Ferdinand Porsche’s hybrid car, built in 1899 by Jacob Lohner & Co. The so called Lohner-Porsche.
This was in 1984 and I was working on my BS thesis in Mechanical Engineering. My thesis was on a conceptual design of a light off-road utility vehicle, and I was investigating possible propulsion systems.
I started thinking what had happened to hybrid technology as I saw no petrol-electric cars around. And this was 84-85 years after Dr. Ferdinand Porsche so aptly demonstrated and even raced the first petrol-electric vehicle!
Why would a concept like this disappear?
It seemed such a good idea!
But hybrid vehicles, I later found out, had not disappeared at all.
Hybrid vehicles and vessels where all around me. I just hadn’t noticed.
Petrol-electric vehicles where maybe rather scarce in 1984 but diesel-electric vehicles existed in abundance.
When I say hybrid vehicles I’m not constraining the discussion to diesel-electric and petrol-electric applications only.
The engines them selves are also within our scope as engine technology is evolving in big strides:
- Hydrogen engines,
- Methane engines,
- Bio-gas engines, and
- Bio-diesel engines are in the picture as lorries have even been made to run on fuels like fish oil and vegetable oil.
Even fuel cells are now becoming a realistic option in many “small” vehicle applications.
The mechanical separation of the motor from the drive train is highly interesting in it self and gives designers an enormous freedom in forming our future vehicles.
This de-coupling will simplify the drive train and reduce costs.
”The gearbox” will be obsolete and we will have infinitely variable “gearing” thus increasing efficiency.
It may even bring back into the, auto, arena technologies like:
and make hydraulic drive, or even propulsion by compressed air viable options for the family saloon.
Propelled by air! … the cleanest propulsion technology yet!
Hybrid vehicle technology is, as pointed out, not new but it was overtaken by mass production technologies early on in the evolution of the automobile.
Now because of this same mass production capability, environmental pressure and economics of scale, hybrid vehicle technology is back in full force!
The purpose of this site is to bring together the technologies, the applications and hopefully create a dynamic community of both amateurs and professionals interested in our future.
- Hybrid Vehicle History – more than a 100 years of evolution and refinement
- In Hybrid Vehicle History -read about Dr. Porsches work in 1898-1900 – about Submarines and Trains – about the modern hybrid cars of today.
- Definition of