CSIRO developed the drive train for Holden’s petrol-electric ECOmmodore.
Hybrid family car uses CSIRO technology
Holden's ECOmmodore proves that petrol-electric cars could be economical today.
9 October 2007 | Updated 14 October 2011
CSIRO technologies make the ECOmmodore much less expensive than previous hybrid vehicles.
They are unique because they not only power a vehicle the size of a standard family car, but they also make it drive like one.
The ECOmmodore uses innovations from across CSIRO including:
The car features a patented drive train (getting power from the engine to the wheels) that incorporates switched reluctance motor technology. The drive train is:
The electric motor generates electricity when the car decelerates or is running on its petrol engine.
The drive train CSIRO developed for Holden's petrol-electric ECOmmodore uses less fuel than the equivalent conventional vehicle.
Advanced energy storage
CSIRO used creative chemistry to optimise the batteries for the ECOmmodore while the super-capacitors, the first to be used in a car, were designed to absorb and deliver energy very quickly.
The entire energy storage system is:
Batteries in electric vehicles typically weigh around 500 kilograms (about half the weight of a small car).
The whole power pack for the ECOmmodore (batteries plus super-capacitors) weighs 200 kilograms.
We also modelled the reduction in urban pollution that would result from the adoption of hybrid vehicles.
On the road
The ECOmmodore was shown around Australia. At the time of the Sydney 2000 Olympics, it led the torch relay from Uluru in the centre of Australia and at its conclusion in Sydney, New South Wales.
Read more about efficient electric machines
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