Norfolk, England – Lotus will unveil its Range Extender engine at the Frankfurt International Motor Show later this month, designed for a new breed of highly-efficient series hybrid vehicles.
In a series hybrid vehicle, the Range Extender engine is attached to an electricity generator, providing a source of energy to power the electric motor directly or charge the vehicle’s battery. The battery can also power the electric motor, enabling the design of a drivetrain that has low emissions, optimized performance and acceptable range.
The three-cylinder 1.2-litre Range Extender engine is optimized between two power generation points, giving 15 kW of electrical power at 1,500 r.p.m., and 35 kW at 3,500 r.p.m. via the integrated electrical generator. It uses a two-valve port-fuel injection combustion system to reduce cost and mass, and can be operated on gasoline or ethanol fuels.
Lotus said that the engine has been designed using production methodologies and parts from low-volume potential production suppliers, offering a fast route to market for original equipment manufacturers wanting to source a dedicated range extender for series hybrid vehicles.