Why Can't an EV be More Like a Locomotive?
by Terry Evans
(Roseville, CA USA)
Locomotive Hybrid Electric Car
I'm a conductor for Union Pacific Railroad. I've often wondered why someone doesn't (maybe they do) make a car like a locomotive only much smaller scale.
Take a 2 cylinder turbo diesel that turns an alternator that powers an AC motor (we have DC too but the AC is much better) I'd like to start with something functional, instead of a 1 or 2 seater poly-vinyl-leisure scooter take like an older Mazda truck or the old VW pickup (yeah they're like older Volvos, either you love them or hate them) so that it has functionality. anyway you can have batteries that do get the charge from the dynamic (regenerative) brakes.
So If I were to take on such a project, Deutz makes a 2, 3, 4 and 6 cyl (turbo or non-turbo) engines - but from there, I'm lost. Where would I start looking?
Thanks so much - oh, and what do you think about those in-wheel motors, I've not read much on them.
There's someone who's built a home-brewed series hybrid like you're suggesting: His name is Alain St. Yves, and you can read my interview with him here. That's a good place to start.
He converted a light pickup to electric, and has a portable generator in the back to recharge the batteries on longer trips.
About in-wheel motors: Right now they're very expensive. Paul Liddle from Cool Green Car (read the interview with him here) says they're 20K each. There are just much more satisfying ways to spend that kind of money, in my opinion; )