Engineer converts Tesla’s Model 3 into cheaper hybrid 

Posted: January 7, 2020 by oldbrew in innovation, News, Travel
Tags:

Tesla Model 3 [image credit: Vauxford @ Wikipedia]


Of course he could have removed the heavy battery pack altogether and replaced it with an equivalent car engine, in theory at least. But he didn’t, so on with the report…

An engineer from Austria has recreated an even cheaper Model 3 by converting Tesla’s flagship electric vehicle into a hybrid by adding a two-cylinder gasoline engine and “downgrading” the battery pack, reports OilPrice.com.

Frank Obrist from Lustenau, Austria, founder of engineering company OBRIST Powertrain, wants to make EVs more affordable.

OBRIST Powertrain claims that the hybrid Tesla would have twice the range compared to the fully electric vehicle as designed and manufactured by Tesla.

Obrist says that the Tesla Model 3 converted into a plug-in hybrid could have a range of more than 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) and it will be lighter than the original Model 3.

With the small efficient gasoline engine and the smaller and cheaper lithium-ion battery, the ‘hybrid Tesla Model 3’ would be half the price compared to the original Model 3, according to the Austrian engineer, who says that he wants more people to be able to afford some sort of cleaner cars.

Obrist has been working on his hyperhybrid concept for more than seven years, according to Edison Media magazine.

While the hybrid concept could make a Tesla cheaper, it kind of defeats the purpose of Tesla’s fully electric vehicles designed to help fight rising global emissions.

Tesla, for its part, has been beating production and delivery records in recent months, despite the initial hiccups and “production hell” in 2018 when Model 3 was being rolled out.

Full report here.

Comments
  1. oldbrew says:

    an even cheaper Model 3

    At a minimum UK price of £38,500 (Oct. 2019) it’s hardly cheap for the average car buyer
    https://www.carbuyer.co.uk/news/150839/tesla-model-3-pricing-increased

  2. tallbloke says:

    “Of course he could have removed the heavy battery pack altogether and replaced it with an equivalent car engine”

    Well no, because you need the electric drive train and the extra power from the battery for performance. Otherwise, just buy an ICE car…

  3. spetzer86 says:

    “Reducing global emissions” No one ever seems to tie the rare earth, cobalt, etc., production into EVs. Between that and line losses, not to mention the power grids around the world not being equipped for large-scale EV use, there doesn’t seem to be as much positive in the EV concept as they keep telling us there is.

  4. oldbrew says:

    TB: I did say ‘in theory’ – maybe a bad theory :/
    – – –
    Where would the revenue come from to replace all the billions from fuel duty, and VAT on that fuel?

  5. cognog2 says:

    I have long held the view that a well designed hybrid is the best solution. Forget the CO2 nonsense.
    Electric in urban environments and ICE on the open road, with a smooth transfer between the two with clever software. It is a question of getting the balance right.

  6. ivan says:

    The thing all those advocating the use of electric vehicles forget is the question of where the power comes from to charge them. Unreliables don’t cut it so that only leaves coal or nuclear power stations both of which the enviro-loons and greens hate. In other words they are trying to have the cake and eat it – that won’t work.

  7. oldbrew says:

    Replacing 100 million barrels of oil a day (and rising) is not going to happen any time soon.
    https://www.statista.com/statistics/265239/global-oil-consumption-in-barrels-per-day/

  8. Gamecock says:

    “With the small efficient gasoline engine and the smaller and cheaper lithium-ion battery, the ‘hybrid Tesla Model 3’”

    Tesla Model 3 is a registered trademark. He better stop saying it. His car is NOT a ‘hybrid Tesla Model 3.’”

    “would be half the price compared to the original Model 3, according to the Austrian engineer, who says that he wants more people to be able to afford some sort of cleaner cars.”

    Great! He could call it ‘Prius.’ Oh. Wait.

  9. Ben Wouters says:

    Apparently nobody took the trouble to check the fuel use numbers.
    They claim 2 liters per 100 km, about twice what the Prius is doing.
    With a 20 liter tank they create a 1000 km range.
    Seems an electric drivetrain with a relatively small battery pack is the way to go, with a very efficient generator keeping the battery charged when necessary.
    Also the energy reclaiming during braking etc makes a lot of sense.

  10. A C Osborn says:

    Ben, why not have a very small battery for starting purposes.
    The small Engine, turbo diesel would be my choice, could then be run at it’s absolute optimum setting to act purely as a producer of electricity for the electric motors.
    I am not sure what efficiency they could get at optimum settings, but it must be considerably better than using an Ice for accelerating and cruising a vehicle.

  11. Ben Wouters says:

    A C Osborn says: January 8, 2020 at 4:33 pm

    Ben, why not have a very small battery for starting purposes.

    Wouldn’t work imo. Without a battery to drive the car the generator must be able to deliver the energy for acceleration etc. and must be able to deliver serious amounts of peak energy. So it can’t be run continuously at its most efficient rpm.
    The battery makes this possible, and is also necessary to store the energy reclaimed during deceleration or descending down a hill etc.

    This article has some images of the engine. It’s in german though.
    https://edison.media/tesla-model-3-faehrt-besser-mit-hybridantrieb/25198866/

    Driving those Tesla 3 is really fun by the way. I just don’t like the all-electric concept.

  12. oldbrew says:

    Most of these hybrid ideas have already been tried in some form or another, e.g. the series hybrid:

    In effect the entire mechanical transmission between the ICE and the wheels is removed and replaced by an electric generator, some cable and controls, and electric traction motors, with the benefit that the ICE is no longer directly connected to the demand.

    This is a series-hybrid arrangement and is common in diesel-electric locomotives and ships

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hybrid_vehicle_drivetrain#Series_hybrid
    – – –
    The simplest one is the 48-volt mild hybrid, an ICE car with a rechargeable battery recovering energy during deceleration, offering some level of power assist to the engine but no electric-only mode.

    https://www.drivingelectric.com/your-questions-answered/108/what-mild-hybrid

  13. dennisambler says:

    Some near neighbours have a Honda hybrid. I always allow myself a little smile as I see the puff of smoke from the exhaust.

  14. Colin MacDonald says:

    There’s a lot of merit in this, an ultra compact petrol engine, no transmission, a much lighter car than the original tesla, no range anxiety. Most of all it would render existing hybrids obsolete, you could run it in all electric mode in town, but it is less complex, again no transmission folks! Because the ICE is only there to run a generator it can run at constant load and therefore far more efficiently.
    Potentially this could be a plug in hybrid, for short commutes you could run it off cheap electricity and the gasoline could be saved for the highway.

  15. Ben Wouters says:

    oldbrew says: January 8, 2020 at 4:58 pm

    Most of these hybrid ideas have already been tried in some form or another, e.g. the series hybrid:

    Nothing new indeed. What IS new is the mileage: 50 km/liter.

    I drive a Honda CRV, that gives ~11 km/liter.
    The new hybrid version should do ~20 km/liter.

    The efficiency of this Hybrid Tesla is amazing.

  16. johnm33 says:

    I was hoping someone would pick up and develop this, http://www.dukeengines.com/ looks ideal for a gas[english] hybrid.

  17. p.g.sharrow says:

    An electric control and drive train is more efficient then the mechanical, but the IC engine is a much more effective and efficient energy producer for transportation. Getting rid of that HEAVY & EXPENSIVE battery and the high energy loss grid connections, is the correct solution…pg

  18. oldbrew says:

    Fire!

    Fire at Norway Airport Destroys Hundreds of Cars, Grounds Planes
    By Mikael Holter
    7 January 2020

    ‘The cause is unknown and under investigation, but local police said they were notified at about 3:30 p.m. that an electric car was on fire in the parking garage. Norway has the most electric vehicles on the road per capita in the world.’

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-01-07/fire-at-norway-airport-destroys-hundreds-of-cars-grounds-planes
    – – –
    UPDATE: police now say it was an old diesel car, not an EV.

    https://www.thelocal.no/20200108/norway-airport-flights-held-as-hundreds-of-cars-burn-in-fire

  19. ivan says:

    A C Osborn, What you are describing has been use in the mining industry since the late 50s. Modern examples are the Chinese XCMG XDE 170 where they have the electric motors built into the wheel hubs, a large diesel engine driving the electric generator and full electronic control to the all wheel drive.

    It would be possible to use the same idea today for electric cars especially with the dual duty electric motors, high torque in one section and high speed in the second section. That would solve the problem of charging, not needed and range.

  20. Gamecock says:

    “I am not sure what efficiency they could get at optimum settings, but it must be considerably better than using an Ice for accelerating and cruising a vehicle.”

    Better?

    “I have long held the view that a well designed hybrid is the best solution.”

    Solution to what?

    The “better” “solution” is the Shelby GT350R.

    “But what is your gas mileage?”

    “I don’t care. When the tank gets low, I stop and buy some gas.”

  21. oldbrew says:

    the purpose of Tesla’s fully electric vehicles designed to help fight rising global emissions

    No. Should read something like this:
    ‘the purpose of Tesla’s fully electric vehicles is to make lots of money out of people who imagine they need to help fight rising global emissions’

    Or people who just want an expensive new toy.

  22. Steve C says:

    @oldbrew (9:17am) – I’d agree with you anyhow about the scam, but would like to pass on an interesting little read I came across this morning. If you already know the group “Deep Green Resistance”, you’ll probably know roughly what to expect. If not, enjoy, and learn from the green horse’s mouth.
    https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2020/01/progressive_ecogroup_admits_it_renewable_energy_is_a_hoax_that_benefits_its_greenie_elmer_gantries_like_al_gore.html

  23. oldbrew says:

    Fiat 500 and Panda first FCA models to be fitted with new mild-hybrid technology
    09 January 2020

    The Fiat 500 and Fiat Panda will be the first FCA models to adopt the group’s new hybrid technology. The 500 and Panda will be available with a new gasoline mild hybrid engine that combines the latest 3-cylinder FireFly 1.0-liter engine family with a 12-volt BSG electric motor and a lithium-ion battery that delivers 70hp (51kW).
    . . .
    The system recovers energy during braking and deceleration, stores it in a lithium battery with a capacity of 11Ah, and uses it, at a maximum power of 3,600W, to restart the engine in Stop&Start mode and to assist it during acceleration.

    https://www.greencarcongress.com/2020/01/20200109-fiat.html
    – – –
    A six-speed gearbox for a 1 litre engine sounds a bit over the top. This looks like an outcome of EU emissions rules.

  24. Colin MacDonald says:

    Tesla fan boys are quite upset about this, which suggests that Obrist may have a good product.

  25. oldbrew says:

    Re – Colin MacDonald says:
    – – –
    Yes, wants to make EVs more affordable

    And does so – With the small efficient gasoline engine and the smaller and cheaper lithium-ion battery

    How upsetting 😆

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