Hyperdrive, a company in the North East of England is currently developing a bolt-on diesel powered range extender designed to reduce the range limitations of electric vehicles (EVs).

Range anxiety is one of the major contributing factors holding purchasers back from buying an EV but Hyperdrive’s new system has the potential to be integrated into an existing EV – in series with the vehicle’s powertrain to help alleviate these fears.

“Compared with existing technologies, our Range Extender is a low cost, compact and high power-density unit. We believe this product is the perfect way to overcome the hurdle of range anxiety and it is further evidence that the North East is producing innovative solutions to achieve a low carbon future.”

says Hyperdrive managing director, Stephen Irish.

The Hyperdrive unit is intended for sale to manufacturers of electric vehicles, rather than to the general public as an after-market attachment.  Costs are expected to be lower than competing products and alternatives, but depend on the complexity of integration and installation plus of course, the quantity required.

As we reported a short while ago, there are already over 1000 charge points in the North East and an increasing EV infrastructure being created including the UK’s only dedicated EV test track (The Future Technology Park currently under construction near Sunderland).

The North East is also second only to London in terms of the number of public charge points and is the centre of EV-based skills development and education.  Irish added,

“We aim to have the unit developed, assembled and tested  in the North East and sold world-wide, generating additional jobs and revenue for the region. This is an unusual product aimed at the smaller, light weight end of the power spectrum which we see as being of enormous interest to niche applications.”

Hyperdrive’s project is just one example of a ground-breaking initiative which has successfully received funding through the Collaborative Projects Fund. The fund was set up in the North East of England last year to provide grants for collaborative industry-research organisation projects and is supported through the Government’s Regional Growth Fund programme.

The capabilities of Hyperdrive’s 15kw petrol range extender have already been proven and this project, with the help of £278,331 funding from the Collaborative Projects Fund, allows for the development of a more efficient 15kw diesel engine.

The 15Kw unit is aimed at small family car sized applications – and in Hyperdrive’s own demonstration vehicle, the device is charge sustaining at around 62 mph (100kmph) meaning the battery drain is equal or less than the amount of charge being given by the Hyperdrive system.

The Range Extender is being developed for use in cars, light commercial vehicles, marine applications and even as a portable power pack for breakdown services. It is being developed as a compact and cost-effective option, which will allow for a reduction in EV battery pack size resulting in decreasing vehicle weight and cost.

Furthermore, Hyperdrive is developing both 5kW and 15kW diesel units for use in hybrid marine applications too, which they see as an expanding niche for their products.

The unit, which uses only proven components to ensure maximum reliability and efficiency, has been designed to run only at optimised points and is switched off when not required. CAN-enabled, it optimises the use of shared engine, generator and ECU components to avoid compromising carbon emissions.

Hyperdrive managing director, Stephen Irish

Hyperdrive managing director, Stephen Irish

Source; Zero Carbon Futures & Hyperdrive

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