Could An Off-Road Rally Racer Be the Cure for EV Range Anxiety?
By Bill Moore
Jeff Smith of the Strategic Recovery Institute has been involved in off-road rally racing for years. He's even raced the first generation all-electric racer in the Baja, but only in the off-road sections. Now he's planning to go all the way on electric power alone.
Earlier this month, I received an email press release that intrigued me. It announced a "Letter of Intent" between Strategic Recovery Institute, a group I'd never heard of, and Potential +/- Difference Inc., a Canadian-based R&D group founded by Thane Heins. If you follow the zero point energy movement, Thane is one of those presumed 'eccentric' individuals, at least in the view of skeptics, who claims to have found a way to generate energy that would seem to violate the laws of physics.
Unlike the controversial Andrea Rossi and his mysterious e-Cat invention that is claimed to generate anomalous amounts of energy through a unknown nuclear process, Thane's technology purportedly uses the magnetic field created in any electric motor to also generate electric current that can be feed back into an EVs battery or into the motor. He calls it a Regenerative Acceleration Supercharger, ReGenX for short.
Where Signor Rossi has conducted a handful of public experiments over the last several years, Thane has conducted scores of them, inviting engineers from the major automakers to come and observe his system in action. He even has a Youtube channel showing his various experiments. SRI is the first group to take him seriously. Since EV World's Tech Editor acts somewhat as an unofficial advisor to Heins, we wanted to learn more about SRI and their plans to incorporate PDi's ReGenX system into their off-road rally race car, dubbed the EV1.2.
Here's the tantalizing part of the press release:
It is the understanding of SRI that the ReGenX Generator innovation will allow the EV1.2 vehicle to (recharge its batteries during acceleration, coasting and braking) and operate in long distance, point-to-point off-road races, such as the World famous SCORE Baja 1000, and the International DAKAR in South America, with a significantly reduced need for battery mass, battery swapping or "plug-in" recharging. The full capabilities of the ReGenX Generator Supercharger have not been yet been established in this format - however the ultimate performance end goal is zero plug-in recharging.
An electric car you never have to plug in to recharge? Poppy cock! More of that zero point energy baloney, right? But what if it could be done, even if it only allowed for improved energy recapture?
We decided to talk with Mr. Smith and learn more about SRI, the EV1.2 (pictured above providing the electrical energy used to power a beachside concert), and what he hopes to prove by being the first automotive group to take Thane Heins seriously.
The interview was some three-quarters of an hour in length, so we divided it into two segments, so be sure to listen to both.
It is, obviously, a long way between a Letter or Intent and successfully competing in the SCORE Baja 1000 or the International DAKAR, but we promise to watch this grand experiment as it moves forward; after all, if successful - a very big IF, to be sure - it could spell the end of range anxiety not just for SRI's rally car, but all future electric vehicles.
MP3 Audio InterviewPlay/Download Part 1
Play/Download Part 2
Originally published: 27 Oct 2014
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