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Hybrids Get HOT

Honda has a high performance prototype sportscar designated the Dualnote, which uses a combination of an IC engine with electric motors powered by an ultracapacitor (supercapacitor). Unlike the present Honda Insight or Toyota Prius, which are intended to provide higher mileage than small ICE powered cars, the Dualnote is a high performance sports car which delivers 400 horsepower while getting 42 mpg. Although not targeted for immediate production, the hybrid concept establishes a methodology for larger power vehicles such as trucks and SUVs.

Popular Science
April 2002, pp. 44-48


Japans Electric Vehicle Association reports that its hybrid car market has grown to between 73,000-74,000 autos this spring. Globally, Toyota sold 100,000 hybrid electrics by March 31, 2002.

Sanyo Electric Co.. reported in April that it would jointly develop batteries with Honda Motor Co. Ltd. for hybrid cars powered by a petrol engine and an electric motor. Currently, Japans hybrid car battery market is dominated by Matsushita Electric Co. Ltd.(06-2BD75-7)


Hondas Insight wins most fuel-efficient car in America for the third straight year in the Environmental Protection Agencys (EPAs) annual report on automotive fuel economy. Hondas Insight with 64 m.p.g., combined city and highway driving, topped Toyotas Prius with 48 m.p.g. The EPA reported that the Americans appetite for gas-guzzling sport utility vehicles held down the over all numbers for fuel economy statistics. The EPA estimates that a 3 m.p.g. increase in average fuel economy industry-wide would save $25 billion in a year in the cost of fuel and also reduce CO2 by 140 million metric tons a year.(12-01 BD69-10-11)


A Plug for Plug-in Cars

The author, still driving his hybrid vehicle which uses batteries and a trailer mounted gasoline engine for long distances in tow, does not think the FreedomCAR program will have any short term payback. He feels the technology goals are unrealistic, diverting resources from more promising solutions, which he still thinks can be fulfilled by Lead-acid powered plug-ins and fuel cell powered hybrids. Author Cocconi has more than a passing interest since his company AC Propulsion not only provides EV drive systems and EV R&D but also designed and built the tzero, a two seater sports car, which with its 0-60 time of 4.9 seconds could smoke many expen$ive sport cars.

IEEE Spectrum
April 2002, pp. 14-15


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