There are two types of technical development. As a rule, it crawls forwards, feeling it's way step by step into a new area. At the moment, this is what the development of the Lithium-ion battery seems to be doing. As long as one doesn't apply other metals or materials, the development appears to be advancing slowly and predictably.
Then there are the times, when something is in the air. Something new is being announced, indeed, only the direction is known. The creation of first horseless-carriage, may have happened this way. After all, it's no coincidence, that so many countries claim to be the developers of such a vehicle, in Germany there were even two developers, who realised the same dream, apparently independently of each other, but almost at the same time.
The hybrid-drive is fairly similar. More and more the standard solutions is asserting itself, that with two clutches with an electric motor placed between them. For years one could see it coming. Certainly, this is one solution, because it can easily be integrated into the present technology, indeed, it wasn't the master-stroke. This would not however, be the first time, that the second best solution asserted itself.
Let's be honest, a clutch or a brake, which is based on the principle of friction, actually belongs on the scrap-heap. The fact that both systems meanwhile,
function perfectly and the brake-system can even be had as a very modern and expensive, ceramic version. Indeed, if you look around, you'll see that everywhere the sliding friction systems are being converted, at least into rolling friction systems or indeed, abandoned completely.
Just consider the printed circuit of the potentiometer, with it's multitude of possibilities for errors. In this case, contact-free measuring is a thousand times better. Admittedly, right now it's very difficult to imagine kicking out the friction brake. At least however, there is already a great solution as far as the friction clutch is concerned.
No, we're not talking about the torque converter. That's an energy waster and would be more or less be, 'out of the frying pan and into the fire'. Besides, in this form it is long overdue as a bridging-clutch. What is meant here, is the genial Toyota hybrid system, which in one sweep, makes the clutch, the gearbox, the generator and the starter redundant. Isn't this a brilliant idea?, the combustion engine, the electric motor and the output, united into one positive locking force.
If a second electric motor were not necessary, the system could possibly, without considering the battery, even be a bit more light-weight than the conventional power source. One has to compare it with an automatic transmission or a double-clutch gearbox and they are both somewhat heavier than a normal manual gearbox. One can only hope, that the Toyota engineers succeed in optimising the system further, without neglecting the usability.
The start-stop system is all very well, but it's no match for the hybrid. It's quite incomparable, that one can't possibly stall the engine. It would seem to be predestined for urban traffic or when one is stuck in a tail-back. What would be important though, is that the battery should be strong enough to manage cross-town trips. After that, the combustion engine would take over anyhow, so that the cold engine wouldn't have to get warmed up by driving at at higher speeds on the motorway.
In urban-country road traffic, the petrol-hybrid has a good chance of being comparable with the most favourable Diesel engines or in fact, of even being slightly better. On the motorways, at a speed of roughly 130 km/h, the Diesel engine definitely has the advantage. Perhaps the direct injection petrol engine with stratified injection should have a few more gimmicks on board to be able to put up a better show.
It's quite striking, just how sophisticated the Toyota system is. In the meantime, as far as the breakdown rate is concerned, it can hold it's own against any of the customary systems. The plug-in versions give the impression of being somewhat imposed. They are good for the opinion-makers, however, because of the high battery prices the expenses can't be cancelled out here. There should always be a milder variation, in which the weight and the expenses are kept within bounds. 06/13
Principle: Reverse gear - electric ...
Principle: Forward gear - electric ...
Principle: Forward gear - motorized ...
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