We haven’t looked for innovation in Russia for a long time. At times, automobile technology seems to have simply stopped at some moment in the 1970’s, but recent hybrid vehicle innovations in Russia could be a change for the better.
Yo-Auto in Russia already has a coupe, hatchback, and truck that feature a unique take on the hybrid vehicle powertrain. And now has a sedan featuring the same system. While typical full-hybrid vehicles feature an electric motor coupled with a gasoline- or diesel-powered engine. The hybrid system can use either the engine or the motor or both, depending on what kind of power output or recovery is necessary.
Yo-Auto’s hybrid vehicle system is more akin to that in extended-range electric vehicles, but is still not an electric vehicle, sort of. The Yo-Auto powertrain utilizes an engine, running natural gas or gasoline, which is coupled with a generator.
The generator is connected to a supercapacitor, which is then connected to two electric motors in the rear of the vehicle. There is no direct connection between the engine and wheels, so the Yo-Auto powertrain is essentially the same as an extended-range electric vehicle without the benefit of being able to charge off the grid.
This may not seem like a very efficient setup, but combined with standard regenerative braking, engine stop-start technology, and a much lighter supercapacitor, when compared to typical lithium-ion battery packs, Yo-Auto claims the new hybrid vehicle can get 67mpg. Innovation isn’t dead in Russia, it’s just a little behind, or ahead, off to the side a little? The car isn’t much to look at, but 67mpg is a pretty impressive claim in the crossover market, or the hybrid vehicle market, for that matter.