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Old January 3rd, 2013, 10:52 PM   #28 (permalink)
Speed Daemon
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Thanks! From the article:
The advantage, as the name implies, is the range. While fully electric vehicles need to charge their batteries and are therefore limited to the charge a battery can hold, a REEV generates its own power. It only has to carry enough batteries to carry it for a little more than the average distance of a journey, rather than having a much larger contingency capacity for rare longer trips; this reduces the weight of the car dramatically and also, because of the high cost of batteries, keeps the price down.

Moreover, because a REEV’s engine is only charging a battery, it can always run at its most efficient speed; it doesn’t have to generate a variable load, high under acceleration, low while cruising, like an engine that is directly driving a car. If you have to burn fuel to drive a vehicle, REEV proponents argue, then this is the most efficient way to do it.
That's the way to do it. Turbine-electric propulsion systems are the next logical step beyond Diesel-electric. The airlines didn't convert to turbine power only because of jut propulsion. Gas turbines require far less maintenance, and are far more reliable than reciprocating engines. That's a very big deal for planes, since there are no breakdown lanes in the sky that they can pull into. It also coincides with what's needed for an "everyday driver" automobile.

There are already stationary turbine generator sets for home use that produce as little as 10kW, and that goes up to 1-2 MW per spool. The smaller end of the line are compact enough that they can fit into a pickup truck bed as-is. No doubt a little work on custom packaging can adapt them to fit into smaller cars. Naturally most cars would use turbines that produce much less than 100% of the power that the electric motor(s) are capable of. Nobody drives at wide open throttle, after all. Regenerative braking also charges the batteries.
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