Tag Archives: diesel

Another failed electric car.

Aptera motors.  Belly up.  The idea behind the Aptera was pretty good.  By excessively streamlining everything to get the most efficiency possible by reducing as much drag as possible, allows the car to get the most movement from the motivation.

The problem with the Aptera car is that it’s pretty much a standard electric.  Plug it in, charge it up, drive for a couple miles, then you have to plug it back in.   If you live in a city and only need to drive a couple miles to work and back… well.. maybe then such electric cars could work for you. But where I live, this sort of E-Car is pretty much completely useless.

Here is the layout that would work… and it’s simple, rugged, and reliable.  In fact, this system is used daily, all over the country.  Trains. We use a small, efficient diesel engine that spins a large flywheel.  The flywheel turns a generator which charges a bank of batteries.  The power then goes to the four electric motors.  One powering each wheel.  This gives the car an active computer controlled all wheel drive system so the car could actually be decent to drive.  Now, we add in some regenerative braking and efficiency is improved.

I’ve talked about this sort of electric car before, only to have some shoot the idea down because they thought I was talking about putting the electric motors in the wheels.  No, in the car, but not in the wheels.

Okay, so hands raised in the back of the room… yes.  You.  “You’re still burning fuel, how is this more efficient than a regular car?”  That’s a great question.  Talking about a car’s efficiency, the biggest drain on it is the transmission.  This layout doesn’t have one. Right there, there is a great deal of gain in efficiency.  Also, the computer system could control the engine’s RPM’s and fuel consumption based on output requirement, or even shut it down all together.   This system doesn’t require anything to be plugged in, to be recharged, and it can be driven farther than any other electric.  Unlike other hybrid systems, like the Prius… this is a true hybrid system… the petroleum powered engine doesn’t drive the wheels at all… and it doesn’t have a transmission. Which makes this system more efficient than any of those.  Also, it needs fewer heavy batteries.  So this type of car could actually be fun to drive… might even handle.  And like Cousin Jeremy is always concerned about, it could go around a corner.