Generally; 10-20% of a car’s power is lost through the transmission. This includes all automobiles: cars, trucks, and even hybrids.The big auto manufacturers have all know this for years and have made more efficient transmissions over time.The factory rating for horsepower and torque are numbers taken from the flywheel…which means that they are numbers taken from the engine only.Real world numbers are gathered from the wheels (wheel horse power).So if you buy a new Nissan 350z rated from the factory at 280 horsepower…..it really is only putting down around 239 hp to the wheels…..Darn transmission!
But now Volvo has come up with an ingenious idea for Hybrid cars. Eliminate the Transmission altogether!Well that was simple enough…but wait….how will the car get going then without a transmission? Ahh…very good young grasshopper. The Volvo ReCharge “packs a small electric motor in each wheel, so that no power is lost in the drivetrain.” (popsci.com/cars/article/2008-03/how-it-works-tomorrows-hybrid)
The electric wheel motors will be powered by electro magnets and computers. All stuff that is way over my head. Just think of it as cool Bullet Train or roller coaster technology. Nevertheless….a pretty smart idea. Of course the car will run on battery power for a certain number of miles before the diesel engine kicks on. And since the engine will not be connected to a transmission; the power made will be transferred more efficiently to the batteries or a fuel cell.All of this adds up to a 160 MPG car…..Hopefully this technology will reach us before our economy collapses due to skyrocketing gas prices!
Originally posted on gasmilage.wordpress.com