|The powertrain layout of the XR-3. Click to enlarge.|
, LLC, a product design firm in Glendale, Ariz., will soon the kit and plans for its XR-3 plug-in hybrid, a two-passenger, three-wheel vehicle with an expected fuel economy rating between 125 and 225 miles per gallon.
While the front wheels are powered by a three-cylinder, 23 hp (17 kW) diesel engine, a single rear wheel uses an electric motor run by a lithium-ion battery. The ground provides the connection between the two systems, eliminating the need for an electronic and mechanical interface.
|Side view of the XR-3. Click to enlarge.|
A three-position switch allows the driver to select between battery-only, diesel-only and hybrid driving modes. The diesel engine can remain off for local trips, since power from the lithium-ion battery pack gives the car a battery-only range of up to 40 miles.
Driving on power from its diesel engine, the XR-3 can achieve fuel economy of 125 miles per gallon. However, when the diesel and electric power systems are combined in a hybrid driving mode, fuel economy can exceed 200 miles per gallon over an 80-mile trip.