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September 05, 2006



By Gawd, this makes me proud to be a car owner! Freedom of Choice. If I want to pollute more and burn more non-renewable fossil fuel, BMW / DCX / GM are there for me.


Yep, get your big tax incentive rebate then switch the electric part to off.

I think the renwable energy tax incentive ought to be applied to the electric part of the hybrid. the more electric a hybrid is, the bigger the incentive. Say 3000 for a pure plugin electric car. And a lot less for a hybrid where you can shut off the electric part.

The next thing will be to add 10 hp electric motors to V-10 sportscars and trucks, then call them hybrids.

On the upside, even 10 horses will be enough to shut off the ICE in traffic jams, if it's not in "off" mode. That still saves a lot of fuel given the hour long jams that are the norm now.

Charles S

There are so much hype about how two-mode hybrid will kick Toyota's butt, but yet the very first application will be for trucks, SUVs, and sports cars; none are Prius-fighters. Sure, maybe two-mode will do well against Toyota hybrid SUVS, but what about those who may want a two-mode for a Dodge Caliber? I have a feeling we won't be seeing anything like that any time soon.


The two-mode business is probably about several things (my guesses): 1. getting around Toyota's patents, 2. additional reliability, 3. drive train cost.

The system in the Prius must use two fairly hefty electric motor/generators with equally hefty drive electronics. And if any of it fails, the car is dead. Sounds like the two-mode system can keep the vehicle running even if one of the modes fails.

Paul Dietz

The system in the Prius must use two fairly hefty electric motor/generators with equally hefty drive electronics.

Huh? I thought the Prius used a single motor generator, hooked into the drivetrain in parallel with the IC engine via planetary gear system.


Leave it to GM to come up with something that sounds energy efficient but when you look closely is just the same old cars we've always had. Sounds like flex-fuel


"Huh? I thought the Prius used a single motor generator, hooked into the drivetrain in parallel with the IC engine via planetary gear system."

There is a planetary gear system, but there are two motor/generators. The gear system and motor/generators act as a continuously variable transmission.

The gasoline engine is connected to the carrier for the planet gears. One motor/generator is connected to the sun gear. The other motor/generator and the wheels are connected to the ring gear.

At low speed and high acceleration, the sun gear revolves backwards, and the motor/generator acts as a generator. The generated power (along with battery power as needed) is sent to the motor/generator (acting as a motor) on the ring gear. The torques of the gasolene engine and the ring gear motor add to accelerate the car quickly. The set-up acts as a transmission in low gear.

During high speed cruising, the ring gear motor/generator acts a generator. It supplies power to the sun gear motor/generator, which is now acting as a motor. The revs of the sun gear add to the revs of the gasoline engine, in order to move the car at high speed without causing excessive revs of the gasoline engine, just like a conventional drive train in high gear.

It is a really neat system, though it does have the complexity of two motor/generators and the associated power drive electronics.

The Anonymous Poster

amazingdrx, the point of the 2 mode is to stop using the electrical system when it is least efficient such as traveling at a constant speed. There are more energy losses in the eCVT than a simple mechanical connection. The eCVT is used for accelerating/decelerating and the mechanical connection for highway driving (for example).


Yes I can see the efficiency gain from decoupling the electric component of the hybrid when it is has no battery charge. Does it recouple for regenerative braking, or doesn't this system use regenerative braking?

Touting an extra electric clutch as a major inovation seems kind of strange though.

With the Toyota planetary transmission the motor/generator remains stationary when not in use. It seems to be a better idea. Just as efficient, but it can be used for regenerative braking anytime the powertrain demands it.

If a hybrid system is merely a regular internal combustion engine/transmission with an added electric motor/generator then an extra clutch to hook it directly to the driveshaft is the simplest design. No planetary gear system is needed.

This is why I suspect a scam to get tax incentives while having a very small, light, inexpensive, underpowered electric system that can be easily removed once the tax incentivized purchase is completed.

It would still help save gas at very low speeds if used in traffic however. i think an addon system of this typed would be good for expensive sports and classic cars to allow low speed cruising without putting unecessary time on the expensive ICE components.

A Ferrari like Ferris Bueler drove could tour around all day impressing people without adding miles.


I read the explanation, it justifies a much smaller motor/generator to save weight.

This design allows a regular gas guzzler to be sold with the hybrid transmission. No other mechanical modifications are needed except installing the battery. Although I'm sure a hefty, expensive, touchy electronics package is included.

This would not work as a plugin hybrid since the motor generator is underpowered. That sets detroit behind again, in the new cycle of hybrids plugins driving for the first 40 miles or so without any fuel burned (even bush said it!).

To beat toyota Detroit should go all electric with backup generator. That's the leapfrog design, now being built by a startup mini electric car company detailed in another post here.

This wopuld seem to allow the big banking,big oil, big 3 auto board roomates to have a big frat party celebrating their strategery to kill plugin hybrids and electric cars completely. They did have a big new Gulf of mexico oil discovery, hehey. Those rascals, you gotta watch 'em.

The energy and auto companay board roomies are all in the same fraternity with Needemeyer. He's sneaky.

But this way Toyota WILL win. Liquid fuel is history, electricity from wind, water, and solar stored in batteries (new hitech, lightweight)is the future.

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