As a New Yorker, imagine going on vacation in San Francisco, and spending just $26.99 on fuel to get there. That’s the trip that Kor Ecologic is planning on making with a tiny ethanol hybrid vehicle, the UrbEE 2, in a couple of years.
UrbEE stands for Urban Ethanol Electricity, and 2 is for the second-generation. The UrbEE 2 reminds me of a Toyota Prius in form, though squatter and even more aerodynamic. The 2010 Toyota Prius hybrid electric vehicle has a 0.25cd [coefficient of drag], and gets some 50mpg. The upcoming Volkswagen XL1, a diesel hybrid vehicle, has a 0.189cd and is estimated to get about 260mpg. The UrbEE 2 is so streamlined that its drag measures in at an astonishing 0.149cd. When the prototype is finally produced, it is estimated to get around 300mpg.
The engine and motors are small-scale, just 23hp total output and 70mph top speed, but the tiny hybrid vehicle weighs in at just 1,200#. Using chrome-moly steel tubing and a 3D-printed ABS [acrylonitrile butadiene styrene] body, much like you’d find in NASCAR racers, Kor Ecologic’s car will be strong, for safety, as well as light and aerodynamic, for excellent fuel economy. At the same time, the vehicle can carry two passengers, possibly across the country on just 10 gallons of fuel.
The Toyota Prius could make the trip across the country, from New York to San Francisco, on $188 of regular unleaded gasoline. My old Jeep Wrangler, better than $780. The UrbEE 2 will do it on just $26.99 of E85 blended gasoline, filling up just once in New York. True, the “Urb” in UrbEE 2 stands for Urban, so it isn’t meant for cross-country excursion, but it can, and will, be done. Cody and Tyler Kor, son of Jim Kor, head of Kor Ecologic, will prove it once they get the UrbEE 2 up and running in a couple of years.
Image © Kor Ecologic [screenshot]