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Velozzi Provides Some Details on the SOLO Crossover; Micro-Turbine Extended Range Electric Vehicle

Velozzi solo
The SOLO. Click to enlarge.

Velozzi released a rendering and some preliminary detail on its upcoming electric-drive crossover, the SOLO. The SOLO is an extended range electric vehicle equipped with a combination of supercapacitors and lithium-ion batteries for energy storage and a multi-fuel micro-turbine for the range-extending genset.

The vehicle will also have the ability to reverse its polarity and serve as a power generator, able to power equipment or a home if necessary. Regenerative braking will capture kinetic energy when slowing the vehicles improving its range. According to Velozzi, the SOLO will reach 100 mpg (2.4 L/100km), accelerate from 0-60 mph in 6 seconds, and have a top speed of 130 mph (209 km/h).

Velozzi is emphasizing the use of lightweight materials and the modularity that lightweight materials can provide. In May, Velozzi announced a partnership with Nanoledge for the development of lightweight and high performance epoxy/carbon fibre body panels. Nanoledge integrated carbon nanotubes into epoxy resin to improve mechanical performance of composites in areas such as crack growth resistance, fatigue resistance, impact resistance and compression resistance without compromises on other properties. Carbon nanotubes can increase the mechanical properties of the components by 40%, improving the parts’ performance while reducing weight.

Velozzi says it has 17 global OEM suppliers engaged in building the Velozzi super car and the SOLO. Both vehicles are entered in the Progressive Automotive X Prize competition, the super car in the Alterative class and the SOLO in the Mainstream class.

Like the SOLO, the super car is also a micro-turbine-based extended range electric vehicle. The supercar, however, will be powered by a 574 kW (770 hp) AC induction motor able to accelerate from 0-60 mph in 3 seconds, with a top speed of more than 200 mph (322 km/h).

ETV Motors Ltd. (ETVM) is an Israeli start-up also developing a range-extended electric vehicle (REEV) technology combining a novel dual-power micro-turbine and a new high-voltage lithium-ion battery chemistry. (Earlier post.)



This sounds interesting, but if it costs over $100,000 and you can not get jet fuel at every station for the turbine, I would say that it is not very practical.

Henry Gibson

Whilst the engineering of this vehicle is very impressive, and it fun to see what engineering can do, this vehicle demonstrates clearly why the US and other countries use a lot more fuel than is needed to provide transportation. A single person commuting to work in this vehicle is clearly wasting the earth's resources just to show off the possession of an example of beautiful automotive art. Running this vehicle on ethanol, whilst many persons are finding it impossibly expensive to get corn meal for their breakfast, lunch and dinner, demonstrates best the foolishness of using biomass of any kind for energy for an industrial society. This is not a "green car". ..HG..


Quality engineering design involves the optimization of multidimensional problems. To the layman it means making proper trade offs. In this regard the designers of the vehicle have failed miserably by not addressing the cost.


Velozzi supercar, over 700 horsepower equivalent, I want one.....


To me this is a bit of a demonstration project - a bit like the Bugatti Veyron but in a way to demonstrate what you can do with the technolocy available. If this can get 100 mpg, the implications for 'normal' cars with the same technology could be significant - say 200 mpg for example.

Don't forget that a lot of technology in todays cars in terms of safety, transmission etc comes from Formula 1, but how many F1 cars do you see on people's drives?

You have to do these things to see how far you can go and then see what is realistic. Experimentation.


I wonder about the environmental tradeoffs to using high tech composites for the car body.

I can believe it makes sense to use composites for aircraft- weight has a lot bigger penalty when you are trying to keep something in the air rather than on the ground. Furthermore, I would expect that airliners get many hundreds of thousands of miles of life before they are scrapped. That means the environmental impact of producing the composites is amortized over a lot of miles of use, much more so than with automobiles.


The turbine is multi-fuel -- no jet fuel needed.

Certainly a sexy array of technologies. I wonder what the price will be.


Turbines are multifuel, but the first time one of these melts the bump on the car behind, they will see the limitations.


May be good test beds for new technologies.

It could be eventually be turned over to Tata Motors to produce an affordable version.

By the way, something has gone wrong in Canada where April 2009 fuel consumption is 3.6% over the same month of 2008. Where is the recession and it effects on fuel consumption? Canada's 2009 per capita pollution will probably be higher than 2008, approaching 25-tonnes. We need a few million HEVs-PHEVs-BEVs now.

Henry Gibson

Capstone microturbines have been demonstrated in busses for almost a decade. Since no cooling water or oil lubrication is needed by the microturbine, the maintenance costs almost vanish. For a single moving major part, the turbines are very expensive, so high capital costs of the turbine and the electrical system have limited the rapid spread of their use. Capstone turbines have been run or tested on many fuels, and solar heat operation is now being developed. A parabolic collector supplying heat to a turbine at home to generate power to charge this cars batteries would be an interesting and affordable experiment in the continuing pretense of being green for anybody who could buy such a car. An ordinary single piston 3kw range extender could demonstrate that very high performance eletric cars of limited electric range can go anywhere but not at 100 miles per hour. What is the speed of operation for any car which uses the least energy per mile of operation??? ..HG..


@ SJC,

Right you are about the blow torch exhaust gas!

You point out the obvious flaw in this technology showcase...that they have failed to add cogeneration.

All it would take is bunches of aerogel insulation (light and exotic...check), a microsteam turbine and generator (probably made out of titanium to seem more high tech), some sort of super recouper to extract heat from the final exhaust pipe, and preheat the air intake (perhaps made with some arbitrarily patented ceramics for cache value), and of course the ability to pipe it in to heat your house and provide distilled water when you're camping.

Did I miss anything?

Actually, if all of this stuff could be made with 1959 VW Bug sensibilities...maybe it's what we'll be driving in 10 years.


"By the way, something has gone wrong in Canada where April 2009 fuel consumption is 3.6% over the same month of 2008."

Part of this has gotta be from the population growth we've had. A lot of people came into the country and most of them were of driving age. The population as of July 1 2008 was ~33,311,400. As of January 1, 2009, Canada's population was an estimated 33,504,700. As of April 1, 2009, Canada's population was 33,592,700, up 88,000 from the start of the year.

Add in all the teenagers who got their first licence and I figure somewhere around 300,000 new drivers were put on our roads.


Um folks. The super car and the crossover are 2 different cars...



"Where is the recession and it effects on fuel consumption?"

There is no recession out west. Home sales in BC increased 14% last year.



I don't have the province by province fuel consumption changes but it may come from western Canada, certainly not from Ontario.

Home sales have been picking up in many parts of Canada. Is it another sign that the recession is easing?

If car sales + local (car)manufacturing pick up in Ontario, it would be another possitive signs.


A recession is a "buyers market."

Scott S

What's the pint of using an expensive, inefficient, and relatively dirty micro-turbine as an APU? The public test data for micro turbine exhaust has not shown that they can meet emission standards without after treatment.

As Henry G pointed out, Capstone turbines have been used in buses for over a decade. Only thing is that no new installations have been made since 2006 or so because they do not meet emission regulations.


Wouldn't it be far cheaper to use a Free-Piston generator in a series hybrid? Supposedly they're compact, very efficient, do ok with HCCI even if they are essentially a 2-stroke, and potentially very cheap. Are there any on the horizon that would meet emissions and reliability? Some of the X-prize teams are supposedly using them.



not sure of the output capacity of these yet. But they will play a role in the future of electrification. Of one sort or another.


The car stood in the middle of the yard, quite unattended, the stable-helps and other hangers-on being all at their dinner. Toad walked slowly round it, inspecting, criticising, musing deeply.

`I wonder,' he said to himself presently, `I wonder if this sort of car STARTS easily?'

Next moment, hardly knowing how it came about, he found he had hold of the handle and was turning it. As the familiar sound broke forth, the old passion seized on Toad and completely mastered him, body and soul. As if in a dream he found himself, somehow, seated in the driver's seat; as if in a dream, he pulled the lever and swung the car round the yard and out through the archway; and, as if in a dream, all sense of right and wrong, all fear of obvious consequences, seemed temporarily suspended. He increased his pace, and as the car devoured the street and leapt forth on the high road through the open country, he was only conscious that he was Toad once more, Toad at his best and highest, Toad the terror, the traffic-queller, the Lord of the lone trail, before whom all must give way or be smitten into nothingness and everlasting night. He chanted as he flew, and the car responded with sonorous drone; the miles were eaten up under him as he sped he knew not whither, fulfilling his instincts, living his hour, reckless of what might come to him. - Kenneth Grahame


I'd rather be sailing.

"There is nothing--absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats."


Sailing is a very peaceful and relaxing activity. It is relatively harmless to the environment, but a boat is a hole in the water into which one pours money.

It might be best to have boat cooperatives, where every one can learn how to sail and have access to boats to use for the after noon. Every one should have the chance to picnic on a boat for an after of life's small pleasures.

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