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New Combustion Engine Range Extender


Engineers at the German Aerospace Center have developed a new combustion engine which will revolutionize the way electric vehicles will extend their range when the juice runs dry.

The Chevy Volt is one of the many electric vehicles which supplements its electric motor with a traditional gas-powered engine. Battery technology is too limited now to provide sufficient range for the everyday driver, so by including a tiny gasoline motor, they are able to recharge the battery on the go as opposed to actually powering the wheels. This is funny technicality is how they are able to keep the “EV” label.

The new German design uses two pistons on either side of a single combustion chamber. Instead of rotating a camshaft, the pistons bounce back on air springs to directly generate electricity. The design is incredibly efficient as it weighs in at a slim 125lbs while putting out 40hp. Compression ratios and chamber size can be infinitely adjusted. Another sweet benefit is that it can be run on all sorts of fuel such as diesel and even hydrogen. EV’s with this setup will be able to shed lots of weight, generate more power, and save space. The fact that this thing is so tiny means that some manufacturers may be able to use more than one in a single vehicle to provide more power.

This is a tremendous boost to the electric vehicle market. The design will hopefully make it into production within a few years. None of the models we’ve seen have been too practical. Pure EV’s (no combustion range extender) charge up too slowly at stations which are few and far between and those with range extenders are expensive. Let’s trust the manufacturing costs will drop as this application will allow for smaller batteries.

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