Warren Buffet’s recent investment in BYD has conferred a new legitimacy on a dual parallel-serial hybrid drivetrain, which combines features from both systems. And now VW has revealed its own PHEV third way called “TwinDrive.” Ohne transmission, VW’s concept car uses a small electric engine– powered by a 350 lbs. Sanyo lithium-Ion battery pack under the trunk floor– to launch its Golf testbed to 30 mph. (At which point the gasoline engine kicks in.) Electric acceleration helps overcome the limitations of a single high gear; reverse is electric-only. And drivers can engage an EV-only mode. Motor Trend reports that VeeDub’s testing the TwinDrive system with diesel engines, but gas-powered TD’s are destined for production. Production ICE is said to be a 100hp turbocharged 1.05-liter turbocharged triple. A smart navigation-based system will calculate energy use priorities, saving battery capacity if urban driving appears ahead on the planned driving route, thus ensuring battery depletion at the destination and keeping the TwinDrive away from gas pumps unless absolutely necessary). The basic components of plug-in hybrid systems seem to have become fairly standardized. But concepts like the TwinDrive show that there are more development options than simply parallel or serial configurations.
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