TransPower’s ElecTruck™ components can be augmented with range extension kits that make efficient use of fossil fuels such as compressed natural gas (CNG) to supply energy to augment the ElecTruck™ battery packs.

The result is a battery-dominant natural gas plug-in hybrid drive system architecture that can use the additional energy of an onboard natural gas-driven generator to extend vehicle operating range by a factor of two or more.  While this augmentation results in some fuel use and emissions, the effective fuel economy of natural gas hybrid systems can be far greater than that of conventional vehicles or competing hybrid systems with smaller battery packs.

Battery-dominant hybrid systems can also be configured to operate in a battery-only mode, producing zero emissions, for extended periods.

Product Description

TransPower’s natural gas hybrid drive system merges the ElecTruck™ battery-electric drive system with an innovative new range extender that can use an internal combustion engine or a microturbine.

When a combustion engine is utilized, it is mated to a compact, advanced generator. The engine-generator or microturbine produces electric energy that can be used to augment and recharge the vehicle’s batteries or to operate the vehicle at modest power levels when the batteries are depleted.

By taking advantage of the energy stored in the ElecTruck™ battery packs and the system’s high-power electric motors, range extension can be achieved using extremely small CNG power plants such as the CNG version of the 3.7 liter engine used in the Ford Mustang and F-150, which was recently certified by the California Air Resources Board. While this engine was developed for passenger vehicles, when used as a range extender it can enhance the performance of much larger vehicles up to and including the Class 8 trucks.

Microturbines, developed initially for stationary power applications, provide another option for augmenting battery energy in a compact geometry.

Benefits

The natural gas hybrid system provides a viable option for vehicle operators whose operating range requirements exceed the 80-100 mile limit of the ElecTruck™ battery-electric drive system.

For operators whose range requirements exceed 80-100 miles by small increments or who exceed 80-100 miles only occasionally, most operation can still be achieved in a battery-only, zero-emission operating mode and effective fuel economy can be in the many tens to hundreds of miles per gallon-equivalent of natural gas.

For users who regularly require significantly more range than 100 miles, fuel use and emissions with this plug-in hybrid architecture can still be a factor of 2-3 lower than that of a conventional natural gas vehicle with comparable operating requirements.

Download this fact sheet for more information on natural gas hybrid systems using conventional CNG engines.