Hybrid Vehicle - The BMW i5

Some exciting news for BMW enthusiasts, the home of the Ultimate Driving Machines has announced another member for their i-family: the i5. The i5, is a hybrid, with an efficient 3 cylinder engine for 90 hp and a 170 hp electric motor. More specs will probably follow soon, I'm curious about the batetery and the resulting full electric range it will achieve.

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BMW is an exciting company to keep am eye out for, the Mini E and Active E have so far been welcomed with great enthusiasm by the drivers in these pilot projects. Their announcements for the i3 and i8 have been met with excitement on the design, which in my opinion is just amazing. Also their plans for the mobility services will likely cause a dramatic shift in how we will use vehicles and think on tansportation in the future, for the better that is.

 

BMW expands its hybrid and plug-in future http://www.hybridcarblog.com/bmw-expands-its-hybrid-and-plug-in-future/

According to Auto Bild via InsideLine, BMW will add an i5 plug-in hybrid, based on a 90 hp, three-cylinder gasoline engine mated to a 170-horsepower electric motor — resulting in a range extended plug-in vehicle — to its hybrid and plug-in lineup in 2015.

The i5 will join the i3 battery-electric hatchback and the i8 hybrid sport’s sedan due next year and “complete” the i-Series according to BMW.

Hybrid Vehicle - Le Mans getting more Sustainable every year

The big FIA organized endurance race of Le Mans (24 hours of racing) is getting more sustainable every edition. Paired with the outspoken ambition of the FIA to be a catalyst in automotive innovation, earlier edition of the Le Mans saw Drayson race on bio fuels. This year will feature a sporty hybrid from Toyota in the field.

 

It is just a matter of time till the first full electric car will also participate in the field and not jut for a few laps. There are rumours of a hydrogen racer for Le Mans as well, so we might be in for another treat this year.

 

With these examples, the changes to Formula 1 and the upcoming Formula E championship, the FIA has set out their vision of where the automotive should go. The racing industry can become like the space program, which has also helped science and innovation. Great to see that something that is fun to watch, is also becoming something that is helping us achieve a more sustainable world, who would have thought that a few years ago?

 

 

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Toyota’s Headed to Le Mans — With Hybrids http://www.wired.com/autopia/2012/01/toyota-ts030-hybrid-racers/

“Of course we would love to win Le Mans; that is the dream for all competitors in this race,” team president Yoshiaki Kinoshita said in a statement. “But we are realistic and we know we need to develop and to learn in order to compete with some very strong competition. Our target this year is to show the performance level of our car and particularly the THS-R powertrain.”

(via Instapaper)

 

 

Hybrid Vehicle - Mileage: Don’t fool yourself with ‘free energy’

With hybrid vehicle the most frequently used statistic is the MPG, or the amount of miles you can travel on a gallon. The European equivalent being the kilometers per liter, or km/l. There are many ways to determine this statistic for a vehicle and even for electric vehicles this statistic is used, even though the electric vehicle does not consume liters or gallons of fuel to travel, but electricity (measured in kWh).  

 

The mileage as it is indicated on the display of your vehicle - Link

 

y easy to derive; one simply fills up the tank, drive till the tank is empty and it is a simple equation of dividing the distance driven by the gallons used. Cars have a different efficiency when driving at different speeds; a conventional car is the most efficient on the highway at high speeds and less efficient in urban traffic (especially in traffic jams, with an idling engine you consume fuel and don’t cover a lot of distance). In order to create equal conditions for vehicles we use a driving cycle. There are various driving cycles around, some are country specific, others are specific for highway conditions, urban traffic or a combination of highway and city driving. The main point here is that you want to test a vehicle at the same driving condition as the other vehicle to be able to make a fair comparison. Examples of driving cycles are the NEDC and the Je05. For more information on driving cycles please refer to the site of For a conventional vehicle, this figure is relatively easy to derive; one simply fills up the tank, drive till the tank is empty and it is a simple equation of dividing the distance driven by the gallons used. Cars have a different efficiency when driving at different speeds; a conventional car is the most efficient on the highway at high speeds and less efficient in urban traffic (especially in traffic jams, with an idling engine you consume fuel and don’t cover a lot of distance). In order to create equal conditions for vehicles we use a driving cycle. There are various driving cycles around, some are country specific, others are specific for highway conditions, urban traffic or a combination of highway and city driving. The main point here is that you want to test a vehicle at the same driving condition as the other vehicle to be able to make a fair comparison. Examples of driving cycles are the NEDC and the Je05. For more information on driving cycles please refer to the site of dieselnet.com.

 

 

Where with a conventional vehicle you have just a fuel tank and the distance to consider to derive the mileage figures. With a hybrid there is also a battery involved and when not considering this in the proper way, one could falsely use this ‘free energy’ to get a better mileage. When determining the mileage of a hybrid car, it is only fair to make sure that the battery is equally charged at the end of the cycle as at the beginning. This does not imply that the battery is not to be used, quite the contrary. The battery will (automatically) be used to recoup energy from regenerative braking, it will discharge some on acceleration, etc. In the hybrid vehicle the battery is considered a buffer and if at the end of the cycle the battery would be fully discharged, the mileage has been influenced by this free energy. The fair thing to consider when looking at the mileage is to ‘convert’ some of the fuel to recharge the battery again to the same level as at the start.

 

Don't be fooled - consider electricity in your mileage; it does not come for free - Link

 

As an example, consider a hybrid vehicle which has a fully electric range of 30 kilometers. If you would take it for a trip of 50 kilometers, you could fully drain the battery for 30 and then use your fuel for the remaining 20. If you want to determine the mileage, taking the fuel consumption of the 20 kilometers and combine it with the total distance of 50 is fooling you a bit with the supposedly ‘free energy’. To determine the correct mileage you would then need to run the engine to recharge the battery again, with the bonus that you can have the engine run at its most efficient operating point to do so.

 

Of course, if this would be an actual trip to just get somewhere in the cheapest possible way, you would just plug it in at the end of the trip to recharge the battery and not run the engine. That would not just be cheaper, but also more environmentally friendly.