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|Like with any new car that's built from the ground up, a new hybrid has to be constructed at the drawing board first. Here's some information from the Net about some concept cars.
Designers, engineers and business people at the Volvo Monitoring and Concept Center think-tank in California came up with the 3CC when confronted with the task of creating a 'future-proof concept' that would enhance sustainable mobility. The idea was to make a car that was not only fuel-efficient, versatile, comfortable and safe, but also exciting to drive and look at.
In the 3CC, Volvo aimed to attractively present a concept that focused on efficient mobility. This was achieved through good aerodynamics on a compact footprint, light-weight body material, and an electric powertrain. Volvo opted to give the 3CC a high strength steel space frame and composite sandwich floor panels for safety and reduced weight. In fact, the outer body is a bonded one piece carbon fibre shell.
With a potential driving range of over 300 km under certain driving conditions, the torque-to-weight ratio is roughly comparable to the V70 T5 but available over 0-3,500 rpm.
This performance is achieved using a drivetrain that has been specifically designed for the 3CC, although it, too, is a prototype. The electric power comes from lithium-ion cells that are identical to those used in modern laptop computers that are packaged in the thin sandwich floor.
Way back in 1800, Count Alessandro Volta arranged zinc and copper discs in a column and invented the battery. Circa 2004, Toyota electrified automotive history with the first high-performance hybrid, named in his honour.
The Giugiaro-designed carbon-fibre body seats three people abreast and features "drive-by-wire" controls, allowing you to position the steering wheel and pedals in front of any oneof them. And the Volta's 408-hp Hybrid Synergy Drive (a 3.3-litre V6 with an electric motor for each axle) not only delivers 700 km on a 52 litre tank, but also facilitates 0-80 kmph acceleration in about four seconds.
Operating electronics enable the power transmitted by the electric motors to the wheels to be modulated, thereby rendering superfluous the gear/clutch unit. Housed under the lightweight, carbon-fibre chassis are the batteries, weighing 70 kg.
Ford has also unveiled a petrol-electric hybrid Escape sport-utility and it's being offered to consumers in the US since last year.
Ford claims that the Escape Hybrid's 2.3-litre four-cylinder engine, 300-volt battery, and 65-kilowatt electric motor provide acceleration comparable to the regular Escape's optional 201-hp V-6 engine while delivering 56 to 65 km/litre in the city.
Ford claims that its hybrid-electric system is more sophisticated than those of its competitors, as it has a larger storage battery and the capability of driving on electric power alone.
The price premium over a regular Escape, Ford says, will be roughly equivalent to the savings in fuel that the Escape Hybrid will provide. It costs approximately Rs 13,00,000.
|Why Are Hybrid Cars A Good Idea?|
|Hybrid cars are good for the environment. They can reduce smog by 90 per cent and use far less petrol than conventional cars.
Hybrid cars are economical. They can offer mileages of up to 25 km per litre for city driving-while a typical SUV might travel 8-10 km per litre, or use three times as much petrol for the same distance!
Hybrids are better than all-electric cars because hybrid car batteries recharge as you drive so there is no need to plug in repeatedly.
Though until a few years ago most electric cars could not match the speeds of fuel-driven cars, today, certain electric and hybrid cars can attain speeds of more than 350 kmph-and let's face it, we really don't need to go any faster than that!