Plug in hybrid prototype with lithium batteries, and Capstone diesel fueled turbine - in Factory Five Racing GTM body. Image credit:Capstone.
I really can't explain it any better than the press release did: "Capstone Turbine Corporation (Nasdaq:CPST) is pushing traditional hybrid electric vehicle barriers with the introduction of the CMT-380, a high performance hybrid electric supercar powered by traditional batteries and an untraditional ultra low emission range extending microturbine, which is essentially like having an ultra-clean and quiet jet engine under the hood. The supercar, which is in the design and test phase, was developed in partnership with Electronic Arts Chief Creative Director Richard Hilleman."
Capstone and Hilleman's microturbine enabled hybrid supercar features a Capstone C30 (30-kilowatt) microturbine that runs on diesel or biodiesel, which is housed inside a sleek Factory Five Racing GTM body. The Capstone C30 microturbine is so clean it does not require any exhaust after treatment to meet stringent clean air requirements of the California Air Resources Board or EPA 2010.Guilty as charged to adding little technical value to the press release.
The CMT-380 features lithium-polymer battery cells that can be charged at home or at a public recharging station. While driving, the sports car can operate on 100 percent battery power in zero emissions mode for a range of up to 80 miles. When the batteries reach a predetermined state of discharge, the Capstone C30 microturbine quietly fires up and recharges the batteries on the fly to extend the driving range up to 500 miles. The diesel fueled C30 microturbine requires less maintenance than traditional combustion engines and produces ultra-low exhaust emissions.
Back before I started writing for Treehugger I had some Capstone stock for a few years and then impatiently sold it, moving the money into a vehicle fuel cell component stock. So no "can't wait for this to take off" declaration by me. On the other hand, how cool would it be to have a mini-jet engine in your car?