Few insiders of car manufacturers have proclaimed that battery-powered vehicles will account for 10 percent of global new-car sales by 2020. These producers introduced in the market at least six pure electric cars in the past three years. Unfortunately, because of there limited autonomy these vehicles were not sold as expected initial. Independent analysts, however, believe that pure electric vehicles will remain at less than one percent of the new-car mix in 2020. A more likely spreading will be for hybrid or electric vehicles with extended range. Regrettably, the current price of these vehicles is prohibitive and because of this, can not be considered as being able to compete with the classic vehicles. The costs should be reduced by about 30% -40% considering the current market level. Reducing the costs can be made in two compulsory ways: producing a high number of units and reducing the component price. Referring to this second way, one of the main components of the hybrid vehicles or electric vehicles with extended autonomy remains the internal combustion engine. In actual configuration is expensive and inefficient. Also NVH levels are high, knowing that for the series hybrid vehicles and electric vehicle with extended-range the IC engine usually operates over 3000 RPM.
In the last time it appears the idea to create an electric vehicle with a movable or portable range extender engine. The great advantage of this idea is the same engine can be used by more electric vehicles. The engine will be mounted on one of the electric vehicles only when it needs an extended-range, e.g. for interurban trajectories. This means the cost of a single portable engine is divided in several and the electric vehicle does not need to have a range more than daily needs (50 – 60 km). This greatly reduces also the price of the electric vehicle which has a limited battery package. The condition to operate with this portable range extender is to be very light, respectively to have a big power density. Obviously that is not possible with actual engine.
The question is how the future solution will show? A radical engine concept will be difficult to be developed. It is necessary decades to validate a new concept even is very simple (e.g. Wankel engine). In contrast, if the engine presents the same mechanism with connecting rod, crankshaft, piston and circular rings, will be easily developed and also easily accepted by clients. For these reasons I choose this second way and the new concept is very similar with the classic engine (four-stroke and two-stroke).
On the other hand, even the internal combustion engines have been used for more than a century, significant improvements in energy efficiency and emissions reduction are still possible. Because of their relatively low cost, high performance, and ability to use renewable fuels (e.g. ethanol, CNG, biodiesel or hydrogen), conventional vehicles with combustion engines will likely dominate the market for at least the next 20 years. Globaly it is possible to cut the transportation fuel use with 20%–40% through commercialization of advanced engines.
The new solution introduced by this presentation relates about an opposed piston having an alternative engine configuration with toroidal oscillating pistons, named Hybrid Opposite Piston Engine – HOPE, that attempts to correct certain deficiencies of the thermodynamic cycle as employed in conventional engines. Why this engine can be considered “hybrid”? Because can achieve by itself the braking energy recovery in city drive (exactly as a hybrid electric powertrain) and the exhaust gas recovery in highway drive.