Print 10 comment(s) - last by Kafantaris.. on Aug 1 at 11:11 PM

Hybrid has a 2.5 mile all-electric range

BMW has announced its ActiveHybrid 3 compact sedan that uses a turbocharged combustion engine combined with hybrid components. BMW promises a total system output of 340 HP from the TwinPower Turbo technology that works along with an eight-speed automatic hybrid transmission and intelligent energy management system. 
The car can operate on electric power alone at speeds of up to 46 mph and has a scant 2.5 mile all-electric driving range. The short electric driving range makes a bit more sense when we consider that this is a performance car capable of going from 0 to 62 mph in 5.3 seconds.
The combustion engine is the same 306 HP in-line six-cylinder engine using dual turbochargers that most car enthusiasts are already familiar with in a plethora of BMW models. The electric motor generates another 55 HP on its own and gets power from a high-voltage, lithium-ion battery that is located under the luggage area of the vehicle.
Both the combustion engine and the electric drivetrain send power to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. The hybrid construction of the transmission allows the vehicle operate on electricity alone when driving in the city or when coasting. The special transmission allows the vehicle to fully decouple the combustion engine while coasting at speeds of up to 100 mph using Eco Pro mode. The car also uses a hybrid start-stop function.
The car can be optioned with 18-inch Streamline light-alloy wheels for more aerodynamic efficiency and BMW offers all 3-series packages on the vehicle including Sport, Modern, and Luxury lines (the ActiveHybrid 3 can also be fitted with BMWs M Sport package.).

The ActiveHybrid 3 will have special badges on the outside and under the hood the set it apart from standard versions of the car. Overall fuel economy is rated at 47.9 mpg on the European Cycle – U.S. EPA figures have not yet been announced.
The BMW ActiveHybrid 3 will be priced from $50,195 when it launches in the U.S. this fall.
BMW and Toyota recently announced a joint effort to develop hybrid cars.

Sources: BMW, Inside Line

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By Kafantaris on 8/1/2012 11:11:23 PM , Rating: 2

. . . [S]ome  would rather see internal combustion engines abandoned outright than spend money, time and effort to improve them with hydrogen. But there are benefits in doing so, and maybe we ought to think about them.
First, using hydrogen in our vehicles now will increase demand for it, and thus hasten the setting up of the hydrogen infrastructure which will be needed for fuel cells.
Second, the increased use of hydrogen will streamline the way it is made or transported, and therefore drive down its cost. And as an added bonus, it will makes us more comfortable around hydrogen, and alleviate current fears of explosion. 
Third, using hydrogen in our internal combustion engines now may salvage a century's worth of tooling investment in them, as well as in the transmissions, axles, etc. Whether we like it or not, all these will be around for a while, so we might as well make them efficient while they are with us.
Fourth, using hydrogen to improve the mileage of our cars, trucks, boats, and airplanes, should reduce our need for foreign oil, air pollution, and greenhouse gases. This may seem impossible since hydrogen is now made predominately from natural gas. However, we are presently implementing plans to make hydrogen from electricity at hydro-electric plants, geothermal plant, nuclear plants, and from electricity derived from the sun and the wind. Moreover, we are trying to make hydrogen from methane in farms and waste dumps; and directly from sewage, bacteria, seawater, and most promising, sunlight itself. 
Fifth, since hydrogen increases the thermal efficiency of fossil fuels across the board (gasoline, diesel, alcohol, liquefied coal, coal, methane, and natural gas) mixing it with these fuels should improve the efficiency of furnaces, water heaters, boilers, jet engines, and perhaps even the natural gas or coal electric generators themselves. 
Sixth, a greater use of hydrogen will hasten its implementation for storing energy in a pure and potent form. Just like we can store electrical energy in batteries, we can also store it by converting into hydrogen in a tank. Once there, the hydrogen can be used when needed, and where needed. Moreover, metal hydrides, nanotubes, or even cheap charred chicken feathers, can store hydrogen at low pressure, and can make it possible to ship huge quantities of energy in the form of hydrogen to remote corners of the earth.

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