Looking Out From the Garage: 53 Cool Concept Cars... Part L...

53 Cool Concept Cars... Part L...

I have been busy over on my other blog, plugging away writing 6 posts a week... And I have been working on this series for about a year. There are only 3 more to go (L = Roman Numeral 50).  Come on over and see what I'm up to over there...

Metra EMD F40PHM-2 locomotive #206 near Stuart...
Image via Wikipedia

I previously wrote about a diesel-electric RV... and the natural extension from that would be a diesel-electric semi.  After all, it is the power supply of trains.

Yep... diesel powered trains are actually hybrids, and they always have been.  The diesel engine powers a generator producing electricity.  At the axles, there are electric motors that provide the actual motive power.  The advantage is that the diesel engine can be tuned to run under a more specific RPM range... basically tuned for maximum efficiency.  Instead of the engine speeding up and slowing down with the speed of the truck, it only needs to react to the needs of the generator.

In the case of a semi, they already weigh a lot.  So, the addition of some battery packs wouldn't have as much of an impact.  And since the size (and weight) of the engine could be reduced, the generator package shouldn't add that much weight either.

It sure would be an interesting hybrid.  And since tractor-trailers spend all of their time on the road, often running well over a million miles, they should be able to actually pay back the increased cost of the hybrid system.  (Just guessing about that...)

It would be pretty cool, though.

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Comment balloon 2 commentsLane Bailey • April 27 2011 10:52PM


Well if any one else had written this I would think they are just another environmental wacko.  However, I know you did not go to the Al Gore School of Green Economics.  (Did they kidnap and Brain Wash you in your long disappearance?)

That being said interesting thought.  The Truck is Small compared to a Train Engine and there might be economy of scale issues.  The train gets a lot of power based on lack of friction so there are a few differences.

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) over 8 years ago

I'm no engineer but it seems that the Chevy Volt already has a similar concept? It has the gas engine that does not drive the wheels it only charges the battery when needed.  Maybe not quite the same.  Anyway I've thought for many years that the "locomotive concept" could be applied in cars or at least light trucks and suv's.



Posted by Bob Southard, e-Pro - Cobb, Cherokee, North Fulton (Atlas Realty Service, LLC) over 8 years ago