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Toyota Hybrid Race Car Wins Tokachi 24-Hour Race; In-Wheel Motors and Supercapacitors

17 July 2007

Hvr
The HV-R hybrid racer.

Toyota’s Supra HV-R hybrid race car won the Tokachi 24-Hour Race last weekend, marking the first time that a hybrid race car has won such a competition.

The car, which is based on the Supra GT used in Super GT races in Japan, uses a four-wheel energy regeneration and drive system which includes 10 kW in-wheel motors in the front wheels in addition to one 150 kW rear-axle mounted electric motor.

A quick-charging supercapacitor system provides energy storage for the vehicle.

The car completed 616 laps in the 24 hours—19 more than the second place finisher.

In 2006, Toyota was the first car manufacturer to enter a hybrid vehicle into the Tokachi 24-Hour race—a Lexus GS450h which finished 17th overall. By entering hybrid systems into racing events, Toyota engineers hope to discover ways to make hybrid systems more efficient and lighter.

July 17, 2007 in Hybrids, Motorsport | Permalink | Comments (17) | TrackBack (0)

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This will help educate people that hybrids/EV's can be very competitive from a performance perspective. Most people I talk with still think electric motors can only power golf carts.

Does anyone have any info on what type of supercapacitor they were using? Also, does anyone know if they only had regenerative breaks or did they also have friction breaks? I'm just curious if current regen technology can meet the high performance demands of racing.

Dave

This will help educate people that hybrids/EV's can be very competitive from a performance perspective. Most people I talk with still think electric motors can only power golf carts.

Does anyone have any info on what type of supercapacitor they were using? Also, does anyone know if they only had regenerative breaks or did they also have friction breaks? I'm just curious if current regen technology can meet the high performance demands of racing.

Dave

@Dave D -

2 x 10kW + 150kW = 170kW of electric braking power. The whole point of ultracaps is high charge/discharge power. You can trade off power vs. capacity to some extent in the design of the cells. I presume in this case they went for power and just enough capacity to slow the car down ahead of a corner and help it accelerate back out again.

Even so, the car almost certainly has mechanical brakes as well, to supplement recuperative braking in emergencies and regular extreme deceleration events (hairpin bends after long straights).

In-wheel motors and supercap? It will have regenerative braking thats for sure, but when fuel efficiency is not that much of concern, these compo can be viewed as a "rechargable NOX", that can give the racer an extra boost whenever the caps charged and power needed.

With all the instant torque under your finger tip, it might work better then a real NOX.

Of course, i am assuming that you have a button to engage the in-wheels, in reality they might just kick in automatically during acceleration.

I had hoped and dreamed that the next Supra would be a hybrid! Releasing some V10 beast just didn't make much sense with gas prices through the roof. If this is leading into the next Supra design then it's a dream come true!

Rexis, fuel efficiency is a major concern in endurance racing, and is one of the main factors that has allowed Audi to have so much success with their diesels at Le Mans. Obviously, the less time spent in the pits refueling, the more time that can be spent gaining ground on competitors.

Sorry, that last comment was me. Also, I'd like to say congratulations to Toyota. I honestly didn't think this kind of technology was yet viable for racing from a power to weight ratio standpoint. I'm glad that Toyota has shown the world that it is.

I note the car used "in wheel motors" in the front. They seem to have a workable solution for the unstrung weight problems; at least for this car.

Why would you now want an all diesel ICE race car when you have a car that has this much potential for low rpm torque development and fuel mileage. Many may want to rethink the Audi.

I read that Formula One was considering rules changes to include supercaps and electric motors for the future. Perhaps Toyota is developing their car early. In any case it would be interesting to look over the various engineering solutions in the car.

Uuuh. Heay. Dem dar High-brids won. Huh. I guess maybe dey is beddah. Da going roun in circles ain't fun no mo, speshully cuz a da Jap cars in Jue-li.

I had a thought on the wheel motors. Maybe this allowed them to completely eliminate most of the lower gears, and wind one of them way past what would be considered reasonable.

-Michael McMillan

I can just see this. Stay near the back of the pack, but stop for gas half as often. The car in front will be pushing the most air aside.

Not only does this show the fuel savings and performance but also the durability.

In regards to in-wheel motors: this shows great promise but remember race tracks are specially prepped to be as flat and defect free as possible. If you took a car with typical race day suspension and drove it on normal roads you'd break something in a short time...whether it is suspension components or your body parts (from the violent jarring!) would remain to be seen.

Not saying that unsprung weight is unimportant in a race vehicle though.

Hey, is it me being left out or what? I never heard about a hybrid race car from toyota until i know it just won a race.

Usually auto makers like to post their prototypes to show that they are working on something as well as doing some publicity, unlike this one, when we know about it, its perfectly working and won an endurance race.

Patrick:
Good point and everything is OK as long as you don't drop a wheel off the track. I wrenched for a guy with an SCCA Mini Cooper, a real one, and some many years ago we modified the rear suspension by tying down the rubber bladders in the rear. He dropped a wheel and rode a turn at Sears Point on two wheels for about 50 feet before it dropped back down right side up. Needless to say we put the bladders back to normal.

It would be interesting to have a chance to examine the Toyota's running gear.

Dave,

We are running a car powered by Kokam Lithium polymer batteries in SCCA road races. We are running around 115 KW of regen though our all wheel drive system.

This is enough brake force for street driving but for racing we must blend in friction braking. We get about 15-20% increase in range from the Regen.

We do not need ultra-caps. The Kokam batteries have no problem handling the high currents.

Cliff Rassweiler
Driver of ProEVs Kokam powered Electric Imp
www.ProEV.com

I wanna drive an electric race car! The only ev I drive now is a forklift. >_<
I wanna go fast.

Corect me if I am wrong, but isn't BMW working on an untracap stored in the doors to provide an added boost?
This technology along with the compressed air car shoiuld be getting more attention with the media in stead of which Hollywood babes are going off to rehab.
Being able to retrofit existing autos to reduce fuel consumption is some info that needs more media play.

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