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Old 05-02-2009, 07:57 AM   #3
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100-mpg Hummer H3! Provo, Utah-based Raser Technologies in cooperation with FEV has developed a series hybrid drivetrain that it claims could be the Volt of off-road and light trucks. Replacing the standard drivetrain of a typical H3 is a 2.0-liter Ecotec four-cylinder bolted only to a 100-kW generator and geared to run at around its efficiency peak of 2000 rpm (or the power peak of 6000 rpm if needed) to charge a 700-volt, 41-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack. All four wheels are powered by a single 200kW (268 hp) electric motor capable of propelling the H3 for the now familiar 40 miles of pure EV range while providing better acceleration performance than the standard H3's five-banger. Home recharging with a 220-volt line takes 3-4 hours, or 11 hours with 110 volts.
The powerful onboard generator is capable of powering several homes, and as such the system is attractive to emergency and first-responder agencies. As for that 100-mpg claim, it's arrived at by assuming several days of 40-mile electric running and then a longer distance weekend drive that fires the Ecotec, averaging out to 100 mpg for the week (we can't wait for EPA to rule on a scientific means of reporting plug-in HEV fuel economy).
The companies also displayed a smaller system fitted to a Dodge Caliber, powered by a 1.0-liter 3-cylinder Mitsubishi range-extending engine coupled to a 41kW generator and a 20-kilowatt-hour, 350-volt lithium-ion battery pack. The electric motor can deliver 125 kW of peak power/75 kW continuous (167/100 hp), and it's bolted to the Caliber's manual transmission locked in third gear.

Mother of all Generators. Honda displayed one of its top-of-the-line MCHP1.2 Micro-sized Combined Heat and Power gas-fired generators. Intended for permanent installation in the home, it burns natural gas or propane in a 163cc single-cylinder piston engine with a catalyst. When the power grid is up and running, it generates 1.2kW of electricity (with any surplus being sold back onto the grid) and uses the 2.8kW of waste heat produced by the engine for space heating. Should the power fail, the system can produce 1.8kW of electricity to power essential systems (the generator could also be directed by the power company to switch on and provide 1.8kW of energy when the grid is nearing its capacity). The system is quieter than a furnace when operating (47 dBA vs 50-52), but it's pricey: $16,000-$18,000 dollars.
Onboard shoe-shine. Mercedes-Benz's M-B Tech engineering subsidiary showed off its ability to engineer low-volume production items, like this shoe-shine buffing wheel designed to deploy from a Maybach's rear door panel. I found the overall wheel torque to be somewhat lacking for a deep shine, but then my shoes may not have been expensive enough for this gizmo to shine them. Whatever they think of next, I guess M-B Tech will work out a way to build it.
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