Scottish Company Claims Technology Can Double Vehicles' MPG
If electric vehicles aren't your thing, then you may be pleased to hear that at least one company is working on giving that tried and true internal combustion engine a major boost. Artemis, an Edinburgh, Scotland-based company, has developed a hydraulic hybrid transmission that could potentially double the mileage of most vehicles -- by accident, as it happens. The firm's original goal had been to simply reduce CO2 emissions on the highway by 30% (a goal it also achieved).
The results were confirmed independently by the U.K. Energy Saving Trust, which found that Artemis' prototype BMW 530i hydraulic series hybrid, equipped with the new transmission, achieved double the MPG in city tests over its manual alternative (you can see a video of the test on Artemis' website). Its breakthrough hybrid powertrain design is based on its proprietary Digital Displacement (DD) technology, which it has spent the last 15 years working on.
Niall Caldwell, one of Artemis' senior engineers, claims its potential advantages over EVs would be three-fold: Vehicles equipped with the technology would perform better in stop and go environments (by storing energy at a faster rate) -- in cities, for example; the transmission would be more durable, lighter and (most importantly) cheaper; and a greater number of vehicles would see significant fuel savings.
Once it gets mass-produced, Caldwell predicts that vehicles equipped with the DD technology would become even cheaper than standard hybrids. The inevitable downside: We may not see this technology in production for a while -- perhaps up to 10 years. If you're curious (and are into the nitty-gritty mechanics), Artemis' website provides some helpful specs and descriptions of its DD technology. Oh, and don't forget to check out Planet Green for shows like Mean Green Machines and others that'll be sure to feature similar breakthrough technologies (shameless plug, I know).
Via ::Cleantech Group: Scottish company claims hybrid breakthrough (news website)