Poll: Next big "green" powertrain
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VentureOne 3-wheel Plug-In Hybrid Vehicle
Venture Vehicles Inc., the developer of a 2-passenger, 3-wheel, tilting, plug-in series hybrid electric and full battery electric vehicle—the VentureOne — has closed $6 million in Series A financing from NGEN Partners.
Two in-wheel 25 kW electric pancake motors will power the two rear wheels, with a small (15 to 20 kW) flex-fuel genset providing on-road recharging for the plug-in model. The hybrid will use a 3 kWh Li-ion pack. The all-electric version is planned to have two in-wheel 20 kW electric motors and a 17 kWh li-ion battery pack.
Venture is taking the three wheeler route because it allows them to avoid the costly and time consuming process and engineering involved with automotive safety compliance. Three wheeler is considered a motorcycle and doesn't have to be crash tested or fitted with systems like airbags. All of that saves a lot of money and weight which is critical for electrically driven vehicles to maximize range.
Venture Vehicles holds the exclusive North American license to the patented three-wheel tilt steering technology developed in Europe by Carver Engineering for hybrid and electric vehicles, as well as a non-exclusive agreement for development of flex fuel vehicles. This steering technology produces a driving experience unlike any other vehicle. It is often described by vehicle owners as similar to flying or surfing, with the vehicle banking into corners and producing an exciting, yet incredibly stable ride.
And if that weren’t enough, imagine combining the performance feel of a sports car with the agility of a motorcycle. This is an exhilarating driving experience that can only be compared to flying a jet fighter two feet off the ground.
The VentureOne is a fully enclosed vehicle that is surrounded by a steel “safety cell” and other safety features typically found only in cars—things like side impact beams, driver airbag, rear bumper and engine shield.
While the same height and length as the MINI Cooper, the driver in the VentureOne sits as high off the road as a BMW 3-series. When combined with its 360° glass canopy effect, the VentureOne not only provides a driver with tremendous road visibility, but adds to a sense of overall driving confidence.
The VentureOne weighs approximately 1,200 pounds in prototype form, with an overall width of 48 inches, a length of 11' 8", and a 106 inch wheelbase. The engine is located in the rear of the vehicle at a low height. The passenger compartment and the front wheel tilt when cornering; however, the forces are aligned with the vertical axis of the driver’s body, resulting in the driver being pressed into the seat rather than pushed across it.
Although classified as a motorcycle according to the NHTSA (since it has three wheels), the VentureOne has an enclosed body. The reinforced roll-cage construction in combination with front-and-side-impact protection, and a highly efficient passenger restraint system, give the occupants a level of protection comparable to conventional cars — or statistically, 33 times the safety of a typical motorcycle.
All three classes will incorporate the patented Dynamic Vehicle Control system, or DVC™, developed by Carver Engineering, which allows the vehicle to tilt up to 45° side-to-side at a rate of 85° per second. All three will also feature ventilated disc brakes and measure 3.5 meters in overall length.
The vehicles’ propulsion system is of a series hybrid design. The system consists of a small internal combustion engine connected to a 15 – 20 kW generator, two in-wheel 25 kW electric motors, a four gallon fuel tank, and a 3 kWh Li-Ion battery pack. The system is able to take energy normally lost as heat due to braking and return it to the battery, increasing overall system efficiency.
All three models will exceed 100mpg, with speeds of over 100 mph, and 0-60 in 6 seconds or less – a major breakthrough in the automotive industry.
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