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Zytek Claims World's First Affordable Diesel Hybrid

The driver of the Zytek dual-mode diesel hybrid can choose from standard or high regenerative braking and can also select one of three driving styles: Economy, Drive or Sport.

Published: 11-Dec-2006

British automotive engineering consultancy Zytek claims to have developed the world's first low-cost, high-efficiency hybrid-electric drivetrain. The novel dual-mode technology offers an alternative to more expensive proprietary systems and can be quickly implemented within the packaging constraints of compact European passenger cars. A demonstration vehicle, built within the UK Government’s Ultra Low Carbon Car Challenge (ULCCC), has exceeded the targets set for the programme, delivering 85g of CO2 per km compared with 121g/km for the already efficient standard vehicle.

The Ultra-Low Carbon Car Challenge is a two year, Government-supported programme to develop an affordable, five door vehicle with CO2 emissions of less than 100g/km. To be eligible, the resulting vehicle must retain the space, features and safety of a conventional car in this class, whilst simultaneously delivering adequate performance. It must also be capable of reaching production within four to eight years at a commercially feasible price.

Today’s passenger car production hybrids are either parallel or dual mode systems. Pure series hybrids offer high efficiency at low speeds but this greatly reduces as speed increases. Parallel hybrids have the internal combustion engine permanently coupled to the wheels so are more efficient at high speeds, but offer less flexibility to optimise the drive for low speed duty cycles. A new generation of dual mode transmissions offer the ability to operate in series or parallel mode so the drive can be optimised for each operating condition, but they are generally more complex and expensive. Zytek’s novel solution is a dual-mode hybrid that eliminates these compromises by using sophisticated control strategies.

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