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Mitsubishi Concept CT: Electric-Dominant Series/Parallel Hybrid

The Concept-CT in-wheel series/parallel hybrid

As promised, Mitsubishi Motors North America (MMNA) unveiled the Concept-CT in-wheel gasoline-electric series/parallel hybrid (earlier post) at the Detroit auto show.

The Concept-CT is electric-dominant, obtaining the majority of its drive torque via the electric in-wheel motors, which are powered by a 1.0-liter genset and Li-ion batteries in a conventional series-hybrid configuration. At constant speed, however, the Concept-CT can add engine-powered rear-wheel drive for extra driveability (the parallel-hybrid aspect).

MIEV core technologies—the in-wheel motor and lithium-ion batteries—are applicable to hybrid and fuel cell EVs.

The foundation of the Concept-CT is the Mitsubishi In-wheel Electric Vehicle (MIEV) hybrid powertrain, which employs an electric motor in each of the vehicle’s four wheels. (Earlier post.) Mitsubishi proposes to use MIEV as the core drive element in full-electric, hybrid-electric and fuel-cell applications.

The Concept-CT is based on the i minicar platform (earlier post), although the engine in the CT is a larger, specially-designed 1.0-liter, 3-cylinder 50-kW (67-hp) gasoline engine. The rear-mounted engine (just forward of the rear axle) drives the 40-kW generator, and also provides rear-wheel drive under certain conditions.

The generator charges a lithium-ion battery pack. The in-wheel motors each deliver 20 kW. Total combined peak power (in-wheel motors plus engine) is 100 kW (134 hp).

The Concept-CT is the third MIEV vehicle Mitsubishi has developed, starting first with the Colt EV (earlier post) in the spring of 2005, followed by the Lancer Evolution (earlier post).

Wheelbase 260 mm (102.4 in.)
Length 3,800 mm (149.6 in.)
Width 1,700 mm (66.9 in.)
Height 1430 mm (56.3 in.)
Engine 1.0 liter 3 cylinder, gasoline
Engine power 50 kW
Generator power 50 kW
Battery power 50 kW
Motor power 80 kW (20 kW x 4)
Total peak power 100 kW



I'm assuming the range is only limited by the amount of fuel you can carry in the genset?? And of course if you were taking a long trip and the Li-ion batteries are quick charge then you could both plug in and fill up at the same time to extend the range even further?? Filling up would take about ten minutes and recharging would take about the same time so multi-tasking these two processes would make sense if you were taking a longer type trip as opposed to just running local errands -- (grocery getting or what ever). Sounds like a great concept -- I wonder what it'll cost??


Can you plug it in? Not being able to plug it in makes no sense at all.

Jesse Jenkins

You can't plug this one in as far as I know but it's not a production model anyway. A Mistubishi Vice President (for marketing) has been quoted by the Chicago Tribune as saying ""We would expect the [production version of the CT] to be used in electric-only mode only in cities, where you could have access to a quick charge," seeming to heavily imply plug-in capabilities...

More here.


wow that's nice. the high electric thing is great.


No plug in on this one, but Jesse's right -- this is a concept, not the final production version. I think they wanted to work on the series/parallel aspect with this one, and also to try to elicit a "Wow" reaction with the design, handling, etc.


Think Mitsubishi got some help from this? I've been posting it for several years.

You may have all of these ideas and suggestions as a Gift from me. I will make no claim or attempt to patent any of these ideas. I suspect that others have already patented some of this, but since I have no plans to produce any of these devices commercially, I haven’t bothered to check.

I started sharing this with everyone I could several years ago. It looks like a few are beginning to catch up. Mitsubishi has produced the wheel drive system. Their design uses only LI batteries. It is strictly plug in. When you open the engine compartment, there is just a big open space.

I really think this is the way to go. With a strong commitment by the feds, we could grow and process all the biodiesel we need from algae grown around the Salton Sea.

For a few years I have offered anyone who cares to listen the following info: One of the American automobile companies has responded. I have had some positive response from several educational institutions but - as far as I know - none have done any experimental work to verify my claims.

Here is what I have been proposing:

In one scale or another every one of these systems have been proven.

Like to produce a vehicle that can burn rubber on takeoff on all four wheels and get 90+ mpg?

What I would like to see the automakers working on would have:

1. A turbocharged, two cylinder opposed, 2-cycle, air-cooled diesel directly driving a generator. (It would not be running most of the time.)

2. A 111 volt Lithium-Ion Polymer battery pack.

3. Nothing but wires going from the controller to every wheel, except for the necessary additional electric friction brakes (of course).

4. An added advantage of this would be the ability to recharge from the electrical grid while at home, saving even more on fuel.

Each wheel, depending on the feedback to the controller from wheel speed sensors would drive with just the right power depending on the accelerator position. You would get recharging from deceleration just as you do in today's hybrids. You would also use this feedback to stop the wheel from skidding. The braking system would be electrical.

Each wheel would have a stationary stator and a series of fixed magnets closely adjacent all around the inside of the wheel. In a sense it would operate each wheel in a very similar fashion that the maglev trains use, except the motion would be circular, of course. Something very different about this type of motor is that the stators are fixed to the axles and the magnets are driven around them. This gives a significant increase in mechanical advantage. That's like turning an ordinary electric motor inside out.

There would be no need for ordinary electric motor brushes. In fact, many electric motors operating today are brushless.

Such motors already exist in the model airplane field and their efficiently is amazing - approaching 90%. I've got a couple and doubt that I would ever buy any other type.

It's possible to hang the model on the prop right out in front of you and accelerate straight up, like a rocket, with this type motor.

In the vehicle the motor/generator would not turn on to recharge the batteries until they needed it. There is already experimental Lithium-Ion driven cars that can get in excess of 200 miles before they have to be recharged by plugging them in. You would top off your batteries overnight by plugging them in. Some cutting edge research by Toshiba -employing nano-technology - indicates that recharging can be done so fast that you could top off while eating lunch.

Lithium -Ion battery technology is so new that I doubt that very many automotive engineers have even heard of them, much less thought to use them in this manner. Their energy density exceeds that of any other form of rechargeable energy storage.

The Lithium Ion battery is the most efficient battery available right now. So is the outer rotor electric motor the most efficient motor.

Build an Automobile right and it will weight less and have simpler, easier to repair/replace modules.

Lets see what we can eliminate while improving performance and efficiency.

Transmission - None

Ignition system - None

Liquid cooling - None

Valves and valve train - None

Use bio-oil/fuels for both fuel and lubrication.

Feel free to pass this along to anyone you know in the Transportation business.

I bought a Honda Civic Hybrid last summer. I enjoy it more than any vehicle I've ever owned. I will Never buy another vehicle that isn't a Hybrid and doesn't get at least 50 mpg.

As far as I can tell, Detroit isn't even thinking the same way I and the vast majority of its potential customers are.

Mitsubishi has produced the wheel motor/drive I mentioned above. You can see an illustration at: Scroll down and click on illustration. You can get it to fill the page by a second click.

Mark A

Lucas if you build it, I will buy one. Heck I will buy two. Just offer me a 100,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty, attractive financing, at a price below $15,000, with seating for 5, beating all the current crash tests. And be cool in the desert summers and warm in the Alaskan winters. So simple, any carmaker should be making it.

Dont get me wrong Lucas, I agree with you and Mitsu here, and feel this is a great design idea. Dr Porsche had this idea in the 1912-1914 time period, for a truck. If only he had the resources of today, we could be all driving electrics today, and there would be no large oil companies today, and the opec coultries would be struggling to pay their bills.


Imagine if one of those in'wheel motors brakes while u drive on highway? One would sue Mitsubishi right at that moment. GM EV1 had an option of in'wheel motor but for safety reasons they prefered 1 motor for 2 wheels.
Another problem is ionlithium batteries are insanely expensive. How about theft, I bet insurance for car theft whould skyrocket as all EV vehicles would be just pile of money(ionlithium is not cheap ehh?).


I am very skeptical of the in-wheel electric motor technology. Think about it. Won't the electric motor be negatively affected by their exposure to temperature extremes, water, grime and lack of shock absorption? Will they be reasonably reliable? Or, will they be high-maintenance and prone to breakdown? Are they too high-tech for the average car owner to do any sort of maintenance? Are they just wiz-bang technology? Are they planned obsolescence?

Nothing to see here. Look the other way, folks.

Mark A

Wells, if you read the earlier posts, you will see that Mitsu has been driving/testing this idea on the road for some time now, testing its reliability in some sort of rally events. I am sure its far from perfected, but a step in the right direction, nonetheless. Let it develop, along with clean diesels, hydrogen, hybrids etc. Then we can all vote for the best power system with our wallets!




Alex - I've known about Lithium Batteries for over ten years now. In fact, I'm the guy that introduced them to the model airplane field. Have you taken a look at what is happening there now?

I didn't want, or get a cent, or even any recognition for what I did. You are using a lot of things that I thought of first.

Fortunately I no longer need to be paid for what I do.

I came up with the Hybrid electric car over 35 years ago. My major interest right now is finding a renewable fuel. It's stupid to be burning the much needed pharmaceutical chemicals in fossil fuels.

Hydrogen and fuel cells will never work for small motive devices, such as automobiles.

If I was a betting man, I'd be betting on BioDiesel from Algae.


You don't need to persuade me that future is electric.
The day EV with range of 200kms and 1000 recharge cycles hits the market I wil buy one. I am sure many will follow
when they know that no more emission tests and visits to gas station required. All gasoline car manufacturers know
that. I believe EV1 was scraped for that simple reason.
My old gas car will stay home for long trips and EV will
be running for 99% of the time. There will be no more money for Saudis and others, our cities will be cleaner
and quiter. For now, your president is fighting with 'terrorism' (read oil) for those who put him in president's chair and enjoys his hugs with Saudies on their last visit. I just hope this energy prioritizing 'delay' will not throw US into major crisis, finally forcing even blind to open their eyes on what current administration course of action is.


I agree that the Mitsubishi MIEV concept is great and paving the future. Though few issues remain to be cleared for mass market acceptance (which is the key). I had the opportunity to discuss with a Mitsubishi executive at the last Tokyo Motor Show in front of the Lancer EV.
- Lithium Ion batteries are highly flamable... (Cost should go down with volume as usual)
- The current in-wheel motor gets a 20" tire and weights 35 kgs more than a regular tire/wheel assembly. Unsprung mass is very high, generates vibrations and greatly deteriorates comfort. Mitsubishi intends to reduce the extra weight down to 25 kgs. Dynamic dumper in the wheel would be the last solution but cost would definitely be an issue.
- Road hazard : The in-wheel motor gets rapidly deteriorated (rotor bumps on the stator) with "small" road hazard. No clear countermeasure for that...

Honda has shown a great compact in-wheel (yet outside of the wheel) motor on the latest FCX concept. Price and durability wise, it looks better to me.


Time will tell.

*OLD* Lithium Ion batteries were flammable if abused. New ones just puff up.


yes, lithium ion technology may be flammable but hey folks, let me tell ya about this other really flammable stuff called gasoline. the wheels may be exposed to vibration and bumps, but that why they are so expensive. sealed, zero tolerance for shaft movement and designed for exposure. tires absorb most of the shock while the rest is suppressed in the suspension.


For those worried about the dust, can't the electric motor just be moved to the chassis for each wheel respectively. Have the motor connected with a CV to the standard wheel assembly that is artuculated. In this way the electric motor can be sealed and pampered all it wants and be free of major vibrations and dust.
Furthermore, if the CV was beefed up, the motor driving the wheel can also act as the regeneratve breaking element. If this were the case, the actual wheels themselves would not even require a breaking system, making them very light, eliminating a lot of the unsprung mass.

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I am also very interested in the in-wheel motor. I would like to see a hybred conversion kit using these motors and lithium polimer bats.


Lucas I am very interested in ur concept of the use of algie as fuel and know the saltonsea area very well. I get 40/city and 60/hywy in my honda CRX and am experimenting more... any info is appreciated e-mail me tnx

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