I'd like to know your opinion of using an 3-phase electric motor that is mounted inline to the transmission, run by a generator, that is run by a 2.2 motor from my Saturn? It sounds like a 3-phase could also work as a jake brake so to speak. I realize that a electric motor that size and generator would cost substantially more, but my Saturn motor should get 25mpg instead of 5mpg that a semi gets. Just an idea I've had stuck in my mind.
Hi, Tony! I'm not sure I quite understand your question, but I'll take a shot at it.
I think what I'm hearing is:
1) You want to know if you can put a big electric motor in a semi truck and power it with a small generator - precisely, your Saturn's little engine. Or more than one generator, maybe.
2) You're thinking the 3-phase AC motor will function in the place of jake brakes.
3) You're also saying that your little Saturn engine, based on the mpg you get with it now in your little Saturn car, will get a whole lot better gas mileage than the semi does now.
Answer: To move a big vehicle, a big 3-phase AC motor (or more than one big 3-phase AC motors, more likely) is a good choice. Good idea.
The fact that you're putting an electric motor in it will improve the gas mileage, even if all you did was run a huge generator to fill up the batteries. Your little Saturn engine probably isn't big enough to do the job. I haven't crunched any numbers, but that's my feeling on it, anyway.
The regenerative braking you'll get with your big AC motors works swimmingly. I think you're right on about that. Check out this giant electric bus built at the University of Nevada, Reno. I always like to point to this one as a giant electric conversion, because it's something like 17,000 pounds. It's not a hybrid, but Paul Liddle at Cool Green Car in Florida does hybrid conversions of large vehicles.
Very interesting idea. Why shouldn't freight hauling semi trucks be plug-in hybrids?