Everyone is looking for an alternative energy source for the vehicles. We have several options such as Bio-fuel, Electricity, Hydrogen, Pneumatic, Hydraulics, Solar energy etc., and among all these, electricity is found to be leading.
Problem – Limited Range, High Initial Cost.
Electric Vehicles have high torque, operate with less noise and vibration and can be easily controlled but they cannot be driven continuously. Present electric vehicles require a lot of time to recharge, about 5 to 8 hours because of which EVs are not able to compete in the market.
Usage of only pneumatic to power the vehicle will not be satisfactory since compressed air has low power density.
Electro-Pneumatic Hybrid Vehicle (EPH)
Pressure Vessel made of composite material,
Rotary air engine,
Generator / Alternator.
The EPH will be charged using domestic or commercial electric supply. The batteries store the charge. The vehicle primarily uses electricity for propulsion until the battery drains out.
The pressure vessel can be filled with compressed air through Tyre inflator at any fuel station which are widely available across the world. When the battery is completely discharged then the pneumatic engine operates and generates electricity and recharges the battery then supply the same to power the vehicle. The EPH is planned to be of series hybrid type.
The EPH vehicle can be driven continuously. The time taken to refill the pressure vessel will be about 4 minutes.
The speed and torque characteristics will be same as that of a normal electric vehicle.
The vehicle can be charged electrically, pneumatically or by both means.
The operating cost will be very low since compressed air is cheap.
This vehicle still is not completely Eco friendly because the air compressor uses electricity which is majorly generated by thermal plants. But the emissions lead by these power plants will be comparatively less than the integrated emissions of vehicles.
One can make this vehicle completely Eco-friendly by installing solar panels on the roof of fuel stations and also by domestically using solar energy.
The vehicle can achieve all the safety norms by using composite pressure vessel which breaks into small pieces on collision and also a fact that compressed air is not flammable.
Presently there are industries that manufacture electric cars and there are some industries trying to develop pneumatic car hence the parts required to manufacture EPH can be easily available.
People are looking for alternatives for fossil fuel from long time. Electric cars such as Tesla Roadster, Model S, Nissan Leaf, Mahindra Reva are quite successful in attracting the market. The EPH can cover longer distances, has low operating cost and can be driven continuously with a refill time of about 4 minutes Hence the market will definitely respond in positive manner.
Higher kerb(Curb) weight of the vehicle
High initial cost.
Low operating cost
Can operate in both sports and economy drive
Short Refill time of about 4 minutes
Comparatively more Eco-friendly.