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PHEVLERs are the Zero CO2 Clean Green Machines of the Future

by Professor Andrew Alfonso Frank, CTO Efficient Drivetrains Inc. and UC-Davis Emeritus,
Bruce R. Thomas and Catherine J DeMauro

Abstract. The Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle with Long Electric Range (PHEVLER - pronounced “fevler”) is a new category emerging in the electric vehicle marketplace. PHEVLERs are defined as PHEVs with sufficient battery capacity for all electric driving of twice the average daily distance.[1] The average daily driving distance in the USA is 30 miles (48 km), so PHEVLERs are vehicles with at least 60 miles (97 km) of electric range. The 2016 Chevrolet Volt with an electric range of 53 miles[2] is the first commercial car that almost qualifies as a PHEVLER.

PHEVLERs[3] are a disruptive technology that will help revolutionize both the clean transportation and the clean stationary energy sectors of our economy. These vehicles are the green machines that will provide a critical part of the renewable and sustainable society that we need for the future.[4]

About the authors

Dr. Andrew A. Frank (email: [email protected]) Dr. Frank is Professor Emeritus, Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering at the University of California, Davis, where he established the Institute for Transportation Studies (ITS-Davis).

Dr. Frank is also CTO and co-founder of Efficient Drivetrains Inc. which produces hybrid and electric drivetrains for small vehicles and medium- and heavy-duty trucks and buses.

Connect with Dr. Frank on social media:

Dr. Bruce R. Thomas is a technical writer and online marketing specialist. He has a Ph.D. from University of California, Davis and years of experience as an agricultural researcher.

Catherine J. DeMauro is a graduate of Wellesley College, with a MA in English from Tufts University and a MS in Educational Leadership from National University. 

Table of Contents

PHEVLERs Provide Value to the Drivers
PHEVLERs use the Existing Energy Infrastructure
PHEVLERs use Clean Fuels to Reduce Air Pollution

PHEVLERs Provide Value to the Drivers

A. PHEVLERs drive primarily on electric fuel because they have sufficient electric range to satisfy all local driving needs. Most homeowners have or can easily set up for plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) battery charging overnight while the driver sleeps.[5] Increasing numbers of drivers can get PEV charging at their workplace.[6] Refueling a PHEVLER is convenient and effortless when it’s battery can be fully charged at these locations where it will be parked for long periods of time. On the other hand, drivers of other vehicles waste considerable time making special trips to refuel their internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles at the liquid fuel station or their battery electric vehicle (BEV) at the rapid recharging station.

B. Electric fuel cost is a fraction of gasoline or diesel fossil fuel cost, even at a time when petroleum prices are temporarily reduced due to geopolitical manipulations and manufacturing costs. The fuel cost for driving an electric vehicle on electric fuel would be equivalent to the fuel cost for an ICE vehicle if gasoline cost $1 per gallon.[7]

C. PHEVLERs have lower repair and maintenance costs than conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles.[8] Electric drivetrains provide higher reliability and lower costs because they have fewer moving parts and do not require frequent lubrication oil and brake component changes.

D. PHEVLERs use liquid fuel occasionally when the vehicle needs to travel distances beyond its electric driving range. The average PHEVLER would use more than 90% electric fuel and less than 10% liquid fuel to serve the annual transportation needs of a typical driver.[9] The vehicle automatically switches from electric fuel to liquid fuel without anxiety or inconvenience to the driver, so this dual fuel capability makes the PHEVLERs ideal for both short and long distance driving needs. PHEVLERs of the future should be made with flex-fuel engines that can use any blend of biofuel to serve all of their liquid fuel needs.

E. PHEVLERs eliminate “range anxiety” because dual fuel PHEVLERs can always drive using liquid fuel if the PHEVLER battery is not fully charged when needed.[10] With their smaller, lighter battery packs PHEVLERs are much cheaper to manufacture and more fuel efficient while providing greater range and faster refueling capability than the BEVs. Slow Level 1 charging[11] should be used to recharge PHEVLER batteries whenever possible.

BEVs have an ongoing problem with range anxiety.[12] Batteries are heavy, expensive and slow to recharge, so even with the expected gradual improvement in this technology, it will be a long time, if ever, before vehicles powered only by batteries (BEVs) can match the range and refueling convenience of a dual fuel PHEVLER. The DC and fast charging infrastructures for BEVs are very expensive to construct[13] & operate, and are wasteful of electricity inversely to the square of charge time (meaning ½ the charge time 4 times the losses, and ⅓ the charge time 9 times the losses).

F. PHEVLERs produce no tailpipe emissions in local driving. The long electric range of the PHEVLER ensures that most if not all local driving will be emissions-free in population centers where air quality problems are greatest. PHEVLERs will make occasional use of their liquid fuel engines primarily on longer trips to rural areas. Thus, PHEVLERs and other electric vehicles may be allowed to continue driving when governments ban fossil fuel vehicles from driving in city centers due to air pollution crises or other reasons.[14]

PHEVLERs use the Existing Energy Infrastructure

G. PHEVLERs make our electric grid more efficient.[15] Electric power grids are designed with capacity to serve the highest power peaks demanded (e.g. summertime afternoons when air conditioning is needed), but that full capacity is not used during the off-peak night and morning hours of the day. The existing electric grid in the USA has sufficient energy capacity to recharge massive numbers of electric vehicles as long as they do most of their battery charging during those off-peak night and morning hours. In the USA the electric grid capacity would not need to be increased since the existing electric grid can transfer about 10 times more energy simply using the low power demand times during the night and morning. Using these times for car battery charging, a typical household electrical infrastructure could support 3 or more PHEVLERs.

H. PHEVLERs help support the electric grid. Vehicle-grid-integration[16] uses electric vehicles with low power bidirectional chargers to balance an electric smart grid, absorb and redistribute the renewable energy from intermittent sources such as solar and wind. For maximum efficiency the recharging of electric vehicles should be managed via the electric power companies and regulated by the public utility commissions.[17] If PHEVLERs are plugged in for recharging whenever they are parked, then their batteries can provide storage for electric energy. That is, PHEVLERs can store electricity whenever sun and wind-generated electricity is plentiful, and then can send stored power back into the smart grid at times when more electric power is needed. The PHEVLER battery provides the electric fuel when the vehicle is driven, and then becomes an electric storage resource for the power grid whenever the vehicle is parked and plugged in for charging.[18]

I. PHEVLERs are better than BEVs in support of the electric grid. Dual fuel PHEVLERs can always be driven using liquid fuel on occasions when the vehicle battery is low (e.g. when the battery has recently sent electricity back into the smart grid). BEV drivers are less able to share their batteries with the grid because these vehicles do not have dual fuel capability and cannot be driven when their battery is at a low state of charge. PHEVLERs provide considerable electric storage value to the grid, so electric utility companies should compensate the PHEVLER drivers to encourage them to share their car battery capacity with the grid when the vehicles are parked and otherwise unused.[19]

J. PHEVLERs have the optimum battery size to provide a capable and efficient vehicle.

a) PHEVs with smaller battery packs and shorter electric ranges consume more liquid fuel than a PHEVLER needs to satisfy its annual driving needs. These PHEVs with short electric ranges unfortunately can absorb less electric energy when it is in excess and can provide less electric energy back to the grid when renewable electricity is in deficit.

b) Long distance BEVs achieve their driving range with giant battery packs that are very heavy and expensive, making these vehicles wasteful and inefficient in fuel use for the short distance local travel that drivers need most often.

c) PHEVLERs represent the “sweet spot” between vehicles whose batteries are too small vs. vehicles whose batteries are too large. The PHEVLER can be lower in cost than both the conventional ICE vehicle and the BEV due to advanced technology (e.g. powertrains from Efficient Drivetrains Inc., EDI).[20]

K. PHEVLERs use the existing liquid fuel infrastructure. At present PHEVLERs, PHEVs and conventional gasoline engine vehicles in the USA all use a liquid fuel blend comprising 90% gasoline and 10% biofuel. Diesel fuel is also frequently blended with a small amount of biofuel. In the future if we transition to use PHEVLERs for most or all of our vehicles, then our entire ground transportation system could stop using gasoline & diesel and run instead on 90% electric fuel and the same 10% biofuel (see section D above). Thus, we already have all of the biofuel production and distribution infrastructure needed to completely stop using liquid fossil fuel when our ground transportation transitions to PHEVLERs running on electric fuel and biofuel.

PHEVLERs use Clean Fuels to Reduce Air Pollution

L. PHEVLERs running on electricity and biofuel are cleaner than conventional vehicles running on fossil fuels.[21] Electric fuel and biofuels will become even cleaner in the future[22] as our electric power generation transitions to more renewable energy and our biofuel industry transitions to advanced biofuels made from cellulosic waste materials, algae, etc.[23],[24]

M. Advanced biofuels will be ZERO net CO2 fuels. Biofuels take CO2 from the air when they are grown to compensate for the CO2 that is released when they are burned. Using the energy infrastructure of today some fossil fuel is used for growing, production and distribution of biofuel, so use of biofuel today does produce a moderate increase in CO2 greenhouse gas pollution. Our desired future infrastructure will enable advanced biofuels to be made using energy only from renewable electricity and biofuel. This will enable advanced biofuel to become a ZERO net CO2 fuel and to make an important contribution towards decarbonization of our fuel and energy systems.[25]

N. PHEVLERs enable over 90% of ground transportation mileage to be electrified, with the remaining transport using only biofuel (see section D above). It is doubtful that we could produce enough biofuel to completely replace fossil fuels for all of our ground, sea and air transportation.[26] If we electrify all ground transportation where it is practical,[27] then PHEVLERs can run on biofuel for the longest distance ground transport which is impractical to electrify. In the USA rapidly rising Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards[28] for vehicle model years through 2025 may stimulate more production of PHEVLERs and BEVs.[29]

O. PHEVLERs will speed up the transition to 100% renewable energy and help eliminate fossil fuel use in electricity production and transportation.[30],[31] Renewable energy sources such as wind and solar are intermittent, so grid-scale electricity storage is needed to enable electricity generated from renewable energy sources to provide reliable power at all times of the day and night. When most or all of our transportation is done using electric vehicles then the batteries in those vehicles will provide massive amounts of electricity storage during the average 20 or more hours every day when the vehicles are parked (see section H). This makes the PHEVLER a critical technology enabling more clean, green, sustainable energy to be used for all domestic, industrial and transportation needs in the future. Using PHEVLER batteries for transportation when the vehicle is moving and for grid storage when the vehicle is parked maximizes the economic value of these green machines.

P. PHEVLERs will be ZERO net CO2 vehicles when fueled exclusively with renewable electric fuel and advanced biofuel. This is the most rapid and economical way to decarbonize our domestic, industrial and transportation fuels and to achieve the necessary reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. All of this can be achieved with no disruption in vehicle performance and with just a few small updates to our energy distribution infrastructure.

Q. A national or world policy to speed this transition could simply be to mandate that every car, truck and bus built should be a PHEVLER. The transition time to accomplish zero net CO2 emissions from our ground transportation vehicles could be as short as one average vehicle lifetime of 15 years.[32] For each PHEVLER there should also be a 6 to 8kW solar or wind electric generator installed near the home or workplace of the driver. This distributed energy strategy would supply the domestic and transportation energy needs of the household. Society as a whole will reap the benefits of the multipurpose PHEVLER green machine which will be “sun kissed for zero CO2.”




PHEVLER make only economic sense as long as the cost of the extra drivetrain is lower than the cost of ample battery installation. Within 5 years a 200 miles BEV will cost less than a PHEVLER version of the same car. Within 10 years a 500 miles version will cost less than its PHEVLER cousin.

They are great to overcome range anxiety, but they won’t get a large market share.
Look at what happened to the BMW i3. Available with and without range extender. The early sales were mostly with range extender, but because the mouth on mouth experience sharing, current sales are mostly without range extender.


PHEVs with more e-range make a lot of common sense for 50% of car owners with access to home charging facilities.

The other 50% is better off with 55 mpg HEVs ($30K) or 300+ miles BEVs ($112K) where public charging facilities exist and or 350+ miles FCEVs ($60K) where H2 stations exist.


This is good through section N, but at O it goes off the rails.  Installing several thousand dollars worth of PV per vehicle may work in cloudless southern areas, but most people with vehicles live where there are distinct seasons.  A 2-day range buffer becomes much smaller if it's used to back the grid, and it's completely inadequate to handle seasonal losses in production (particularly if that coincides with higher vehicle energy demand).  With seasonal deficits forcing fallback to liquid fuel, the 90% savings is a mirage.

A transition away from liquid fuel would be much faster using batteries ½ to ¼ the size in combination with an "always-on" grid which provides charging whenever needed.  Attempting to use vehicles as buffers for unreliable generation increases both the cost and the amount of liquid fuel required.


HEVs and PHEVs are interim solutions and will be phased out when:

1) 5-5-5 batteries or better and much lower cost extended range BEVs and quick charging stations become available (in 2025/2035 or so)

2) much lower cost all weather long range FCEVs and lower cost H2 from clean H2 stations become available (by 2025/2030 or so).

Meanwhile, HEVs (for users without access to charging facilities) and PHEVs (with more e-range for users with charging facilities) are worthwhile technologies to lower GHG, pollution and liquid fuel consumption.

Roger Pham

Totally agree with Dr. Frank and Dr. Thomas about the vital role of PHEVLER in minimizing petroleum consumption and in helping leveraging the intermittency of Solar and Wind power in the grid.

Thanks to E-P for discussing the issue of vast seasonal mismatch in energy demand vs energy available from Solar and Wind that will require other additional means to overcome, such as the use of nuclear energy, and I would add, the use of synthetic fuels for storing those seasonal-scale energy demand-availability mistmatch.


A BEV can never cost less than a PHEVLER!
The reason for this is that as battery will get much cheaper, both BEV and PHEVLER will benefit from battery cost reduction.

A PHEVLER and a BEV of equivalent power will have comparable power train cost, because hp for hp, combustion engine has comparable cost or even less cost than an e-motor + power inverter. So, a BEV like the Bolt has a 200-hp e-motor. A PHEVLER of equal power will have 100 hp of e-motor and 100 hp of ICE of equivalent cost, to give a combine 200 hp. A PHEVLER does not need a multi-speed transmission, because of the size of the battery. Examples would be the Ford PHEV's, Prius PHV and the Prius Prime.

The gas tank costs only $50 that can hold 9 gallons. Batteries of equivalent range (60-100 kWh for 200-300-mi range) can never get down in price to be cost-competitive to a $50 gas tank, never.


I'm going to differ with you on the BEV/PHEV cost difference, Roger.  Adding an engine, exhaust system with aftertreatment, fuel system, evaporative control system, and all those other things has a certain minimum cost per unit.  Having the electric powertrain which can power the whole driving cycle also has a minimum cost.  At some point down the battery price curve, making the pack bigger costs less than the price of the ICE side.  It also eliminates most emissions compliance costs—not an inconsiderable factor, as VW will tell you.

Guesstimating the ICE system cost at $3000, and the difference between a fairly capable PHEV (12 kWh) and a Model 3 class EV (60 kWh), it looks like the crossover is at around $60-$65/kWh.  Perhaps lithium shortages will keep prices above that for a while, so the ICE may have a somewhat longer lease on life.  But I'm sure Elon Musk has done this calculation too, and is gearing up for the day that he can undercut the oil-burners at the undiscounted sticker price.

Roger Pham

To illustrate my point, let's consider two AC-induction motors with controllers, made by the same company,

1) the AC-35x2 rated at 125 hp at 96V and 650 amps, priced at $7250, costing $58 per hp.

2) the AC-15 rated at 60 hp at 96V and 650 amps, priced at $3250, costing $53 per hp.

It is clear that if a BEV uses the 125-hp motor costing $7250, a PHEV version of that BEV can use the 60-hp motor costing $3250, with a net saving of $4,000, which could be used to pay for a 66-hp 2-cylinder engine costing around $3,500 with transmission and all street-compliant hardware included.

How do I know that? Because a 66-hp motorcycle, the Yamaha FZ-07, has 66 hp out of the 689-cc 2-cylinder engine. The whole motorbike's retail price is listed at $6990, which means that the engine and transmission and fuel tank and emission control and vapor canister can be had for under $4,000.
So, the power train of both the BEV and PHEV versions are comparable in costs.

So, I don't think that a 48-kWh battery pack can ever be made to cost $50, to be cost competitive with the $50-9-gallon fuel tank.

BTW, the raw material cost of Tesla battery was listed as costing already $69 per kWh over a year ago in CleanTechnica website, just raw material cost alone...Now, just raw material would cost above $90-100 per kWh for raw cost alone, due to doubling of Lithium carbonate market price.

It is clear that if a BEV uses the 125-hp motor costing $7250, a PHEV version of that BEV can use the 60-hp motor costing $3250

No it can't.  The PHEV needs to handle most of its performance envelope under EV power alone; 66 HP won't do it.  Also, the pricing of low-volume systems derived from forklift motors doesn't reflect automotive industry economics.

a 66-hp motorcycle, the Yamaha FZ-07, has 66 hp out of the 689-cc 2-cylinder engine.

If you're loading it more heavily, which you will, you will have higher engine-out emissions.  Also, motorcycles are held to looser emissions standards than passenger vehicles.  The cost of the same engine in a car is going to be considerably higher, if you can use it at all.

BTW, the raw material cost of Tesla battery was listed as costing already $69 per kWh over a year ago in CleanTechnica website, just raw material cost alone...

I don't trust CleanTechnica; it's a heavily-censored, agenda-driven site.  Lithium carbonate is currently going for on the order of $6/kg, which is under $10/kWh IIUC.  The real cost is in the fabrication.

Roger Pham

I see your point that many people have "engine-start anxiety" and would prefer more electric power to avoid having to turn on the engine for power boost. However, the upcoming Hyundai Ioniq PHEV has only 60-hp motor, while the BEV version has a 119-hp motor, real close to my illustration above.


It's not just that, Roger.  Every cold start has a certain pulse of emissions associated with it.  If you are starting the engine all the time for moderate power demands, the only way to meet emissions is to keep the engine and catalyst hot.  This means a great deal more fuel demand.

I'm coming up on 1200 MPG since my last fill-up, which was the better part of 3000 miles ago.  Needless to say, I'm avoiding engine starts like the plague.

Roger Pham

Thanks for sharing your experience, E-P.
For the record, Ford website lists the battery power of the Fusion Energi (PHEV) as 35 kW, or 47 hp.
Another way to figure this out is to subtract the 188 hp total to the engine 141 hp to obtain 47 hp for the electric mode.
On the charge-depletion mode (battery powered), this electric motor power is bumped up to 54 hp, deduced from 195 hp total power subtracting 141 hp engine power = 54 hp.

If you have been driving on charge-depletion mode and can avoid engine start for most of the time, then you've just provided proof that 54 hp electric motor power is adequate for a 3913-lb car without requiring frequent engine start.
The next-gen Prius PHEV (Prius Prime) will weigh around 3,325 lbs, so will do even better with 60-hp of motor power, though it is planned for 91 hp of motor power, by combining the power of both MG1 and MG2 via an additonal clutch.
The Hyundai Ioniq PHEV will probably weigh on par with the Prius Prime at around 3,300 lbs and will do quite well with a 60-hp e-motor without requiring engine start, especially with a gear-change transmission capable of greatly boosting the torque of the 60-hp e-motor at lower speeds during acceleration.


Try 68 kW, Roger.  That's well over 90 HP.  My Passat TDI had only 100 kW and was adequate if not fast.

Thomas Pedersen

We used to get lots of news about small, simple range extender ICE for exactly this kind of vehicles (PHEVLER). What happened to those?

I appears that car makers have opted to use what they currently have on their shelves, even though those ICE may have double component count compared to ICEs made specifically for PHEVLER.

The BMW i3REX is a PHEVLER, I guess. But it would appear that this great concept was hampered (globally) by a Californian legislation about maximum fuel capacity in order to qualify for some kind of benefit (don't recall whether it was access to POV lanes or tax credit). The capacity of the fuel tank should be enough to drive for two hours at highway speed, I think (150 miles).

It is very difficult to make a one-size-fits-all car. Because people's demands are so different. Personally, I'd rather keep my old BMW 320d (paid out) for long trips and get a BEV for short trips.

Really, I like the idea of the PHEVLER very much - I'm just not sure it's a competitive concept. Or that auto manufacturers will make them...

Roger Pham

Well, if you feel that your Fusion Energi delivers 91 hp instead of 54 hp, then we'll go by that number, since there's a discrepancy between the Ford website and the website. Still, consider that the Chevy Bolt will have 200 hp of e-motor, and so the Fusion with 91 hp is less than half.

The Volt with 1.5-liter 90-hp engine isn't much, considering that typical highway cruise for most cars these days is 75-80 mph, so a smaller engine won't last and will strain a lot at high rpm, causing objectionable Noise, Vibration, Harshness.

The 2.0-liter, 141-hp engine of the Fusion Energi is a little much, and can be reduced to a 1.5-liter engine, though, the 2.0-liter in the Fusion is carried over from the Fusion Hybrid which needs a bigger engine because it is needed to run most of the time.

A PHEVLER may not be practical today, due to the high cost of the battery pack and the large size and heavy weight of the large battery pack eating up on cargo and load capacity...although Tesla has exactly the technology and the design to make PHEVLER practical TODAY. In the future, PHEVLER will be the norm due to higher battery energy density and lower battery cost. When battery will be light, compact, and cheap, then short-range PHEV will not sell!

For TODAY, Tesla can make a very good PHEVLER, though too bad, Tesla chooses not to do so! Imagine the Tesla Model S or X in PHEVLER form, having a 45-kWh battery capacity that is good for 120-mi range per charge, with about 315-hp of electric hp driving the rear axle. Then, put a Corvette 650-hp Supercharged engine under the hood that is clutched to the front axle without a gear-change transmission. The Koenigsegg Regera offers similar concept with 1,500 hp total power using a huge engine without gear-change transmission. The Corvette Supercharged 7-liter V-8 engine produces so much low-end torque that a gear-change transmission is not necessary when additional torque boost will be available with the rear-axle 315-hp e-motor.
Combined power of this hypothetical Tesla PHEVLER will be nearly 1,000 hp to put it in the SuperCar range, yet can carry a family of 5 with generous cargo space in the rear, unlike the Koenisegg Regera that has no room for luggage.

With reduction of 45 kWh of battery and reduction of about 350 hp of e-motor power from the Model S P90D, this will more than make up for the cost of the Corvette engine. So, the price of this Tesla PHEVLER SuperCar can be kept below that of the Model S P90D, yet it can cruise the Autobahn and tear up the race strips all day, with a quick gasoline fill up in 5 minutes.
A great way to fight mid-life crisis, yet is still financially responsible, family responsible and ecologically responsible.

Would this kind of PHEVLER-SuperCar be something that you might be interested in, Thomas? If so, please write to Tesla.

David Freeman

Not sure PHEVLER makes much sense, unless you have a _really_ compact generator. EREV seems to hit the sweet spot covering most average daily usage. With PHEVLER you get the double-whammy of ICE generator and (mostly) unused battery weight.

Roger Pham

>>>>>>>>>"Not sure PHEVLER makes much sense, unless you have a _really_ compact generator."

How about a 7-liter supercharged V-8 engine that can put out 650 hp for a "compact generator", eh? Well, compact for the amount of power and low-end torque that it can produce!
If you're an automobile enthusiast, read about a hypothetical 1,000-hp-PHEVLER SuperCar that can carry a family of 5 and full luggage...on my posting above. Enjoy :)

Account Deleted


Your Corvette idea may not be far off! GM has trademarked the name E-Ray, as in Corvette E-Ray. Though I suspect the 650 hp engine will be in the rear (rumors persist about a rear engine Corvette). Put the Chevy Volt battery and Bolt front drive electric and you have more than over 850 hp. That's in Ferrari La Ferrari, McLaren P1, and Porsche 918 territory (all hybrid supercars) and GM could sell it for $100K. An everyday electric and a supercar on the weekends.

Roger Pham


Thanks for your reply. Another vehicle eligible to be elevated to the "Supercar" status would be the Cadillac CTS, a GM's full-size luxury sedan. The PHEV version of this is OK, if not a little lame for the luxury status of the car, but not Supercar status and won't turn many heads.

Well, it so happens that the most powerful version of this Cadillac CTS already has a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine capable of 640hp, driving the rear axle via an 8-speed transmission.

My suggestion for GM would be to remove the weighty 8-speed transmission and the transmission output shaft, and replace that with a 250-hp e-motor for the rear axle that would weigh about the same or less than the transmission. The front 640-hp engine will drive the front axle via nothing but a clutch, without any transmission, to save weight and space. The rear e-motor is sufficient for low-speed driving, so no need for a gear-change transmission for the engine, because the supercharged engine will have tons of low-speed torque for the front axle.

Then, GM will manage to stuff in it about 27 kWh of the Volt's battery, some in the central tunnel, and some under the rear seats and under the front seats. It all will fit, since the CTS is much bigger than the Volt, and the Volt has no battery under the front seats.
The battery will be capable of 166 kW, or 225 hp for the rear e-motor. Then, we will have generous trunk space and seating for 5-6 people.

Combined power will be 640 + 225 = 865 hp...enough for SuperCar status, with further advantage of a 4-wheel drive layout that will fetch additional value. *Salivating* Enough excitement to keep the adrenalin pumping! :)

Account Deleted

Thanks for the comments.
My candidate for Super PHEVLEV would be a Ford Focus RS PHEVLEV. The current Focus RS has a 2.3l turbo with 350 hp and AWD.
Instead put the Ricardo HyBoost 1l with 160 hp and add your 225 hp rear e-motor.
Good economy and great performance for less than $40k.


I don't see how Roger's hybrid supercar beats the Model S P90D without being considerably more expensive.  We are already at the point of outright EV superiority save for certain criteria like cold-weather range.

Roger Pham


Great point, gryf!
Reducing the size of the ICE and get rid of the transmission in your example will save enough cost, weight, and space to compensate for the weight and space of the battery and the e-motor. Electric 4WD is more efficient than spliting the power of the engine for two axles.
Though, you will need a special high-power-density PHEV battery in order to fit into the Ford Focus chassis in order to deliver 225 hp of e-power.
If you'll be happy with 110 hp of e-power instead, you can install about 12 kWh of Volt's battery tech under the front seats, and still have enough room for 5 plus the entire trunk space.

You may not need a gear-change transmission in the front axle with enough of e-power to give enough torque at low speeds. You can gear your front engine at a fixed gear ratio to produce 120mph at 6,000 rpm, which means it will turn at 3,000 rpm at 60 mph, and 4,000 rpm at 80 mph. The beauty of a boosted engine is that torque will rise with increase in engine speeds instead of drop in torque, so no gear-change transmission necessary, which will boost efficiency and reduce weight and cost.


May not beat the MS P90D from 0-60, but surely will beat it in the quarter mile time, and for high-speed acceleration and high-speed cruise like Autobahn, running many lapses in the race tracks, and in long stretches of US Interstate HWy with good radar/lidar detector! The 650-hp supercharged engine produces this at 6,000 rpm, which can be geared to drive the front axle at 180mph. This means the engine will run at 2,000 rpm at 60mph, which is a bit too high rpm for max efficiency, so the battery will be charged at the same time, and then, when the battery is full, then the engine will turn off and the car will cruise on battery alone. The torque curve should be quite flat and a lot of torque will be produced at 1,300 rpm due to the supercharger providing boost at even low rpm.

Due to battery heating, the MS P90D cannot run fast for extended periods of time, and range will suffer significantly at cruise speeds above 70-80 mph. Many people cruise at 90 mph on the Interstates. Then, have to stop for 1 hour for Supercharging every 2 hours of fast cruise, which defeats the purpose of driving fast. At 90 mph cruise speed, the range will drop down to about 200-220 miles. You'll need about 40 miles of reserve range, which means stopping for 1 hour every 2 hours. Which a gasoline engine, you can stop for 5 minutes every 3-4 hours even at 90mph cruise...much more acceptable.


From the link you mentioned for the first motor:
You chose the one of 125 HP (96 Volt), instead the one of 165 HP (140 Volt) - see table at bottom. The one of 125 HP has higher torque, the other one (165 HP) must have higher max rpm (can be calculated from the data).
Apparently both motors cost the same, are of the same weight, same diameter.
Looks like it's with aluminum rotor, as efficiency is only 89%.
Only the controller for 165 HP motor costs $1,500 more (see options).
According to a previous article at GCC inverter prices are below $10/kW.

This means that if you can increase speed of induction motor, the price won't be proportional to the power. You will need better bearings (ceramic ones), better balanced rotor.
We argued about this issue once earlier - here is proof that you can increase motor power via rpm, without increasing its cost proportionally.


the mentioned 68KW of electric power in your Ford PHEV, that uses licensed Toyota hybrid system - is it the power of just the stronger (MG2) e-motor, or combined power of MG1 and MG2 as in latest Prius PHEV Prime?
The latest Prius PHEV Prime, compared with previous Prius PHEV, has an extra one-way clutch that allows both e-motors to provide torque in BEV mode (similar to new Volt).
Just wonder if Ford is allowed to do that modification, and further development of the system it uses, or it's limited by existing Toyota patents. Or Toyota first thought of that (after new Volt).

EP> At some point down the battery price curve, making the pack bigger costs less than the price of the ICE side.

Exactly. This is a certainty, especially unavoidable with strict CO2 limits.

At $100 kWh, an extra 30 kWh is only $3k.

Also consider that the battery can have a second life. With 10k cycle batteries, a market disruptor could design and introduce a car whose interior and suspension would wear out before the batteries. Design for sustainability (modularity, easy service) and corrosion proof components (carbon fiber, etc) could further extend service life at ever-lower costs. Imagine the end of throwaway cars.

Cheap, durable batteries change everything.

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