A TALE OF TWO HYBRIDS

This article discusses the alternative designs of hybrid cars being developed by Honda and Fiat. Honda's petrol-electric hybrid has the more interesting design, and is now on sale, thus far ahead of its Italian competitor. Instead of having an electric motor running alongside the petrol engine, it has chosen an 'assist' system, Integrated Motor Assist (IMA), where a battery pack boosts the engine at convenient moments. The heart of the system is the light-weight engine, only 56kg, which was developed specifically for the IMA system. It uses sophisticated lean-burn technology, advances in catalytic converter design, lower friction, and weight reduction using aluminium, magnesium, and plastics. It combines Honda's latest VTEC technology with lean-burn operation giving excellent fuel economy at all speeds, low exhaust emissions, and substantially lower combustion times. The Honda Insight's engine is 10% more efficient than a current lean-burn engine and 25% more efficient than a conventional petrol engine. The Fiat Multipla hybrid has so far been shown only as a pre-production prototype, with no plans to bring it into series production. It has a standard 16-valve 1.6l Multipla engine and an AC asynchronous triple-phase electric motor linked to a Selespeed transmission unit. It uses 15 14.4V Ni-MH batteries weighing 280kg.

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  • Corporate Authors:

    WOODBRIDGE PRESS

    SANTA BARBARA,    
  • Authors:
    • KIMBERLEY, W
  • Publication Date: 2000-3

Language

  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: p. 64-6
  • Serial:
    • AUTOMOTIVE ENGINEER
    • Volume: 25
    • Issue Number: 3
    • Publisher: Institution of Mechanical Engineers
    • ISSN: 0307-6490

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00790449
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Apr 11 2000 12:00AM