Some interesting news from TechRules today — a closer look at the mini-turbine that will recharge future EVs on the go. This is a series hybrid like an Abrams tank or certain military ships, where the power created from the gas turbines is directly applied to the electric motors which do the actual propulsion. What makes this new design so fascinating and potentially game-changing is the micro nature of the turbine that TechRules has created. A new air-bearing appears to solve a frequent wear-out item in turbines and should make the system an interesting long-term/long-range electric. One that you can gas up with petrol, biogas or ethanol.
So far, so what? Sounds just like the initial promise of the Chevy Volt ten years ago.
What is special about using a turbine versus an ICE engine for recharging is that the turbine is capable of generating far more power. This would translate to a potentially rapid battery top-up but also means fewer batteries in general are needed at any time. Less energy has to be stored and thus could cut the giant battery price tag per vehicle to a more manageable level. With next-gen ultracapacitors, running the turbine at a low hum might be enough to power 99% of driving needs. The crux would be how smooth and efficient it could be versus the LeMans LMP1-level V4 in the Porsche 919 racecar.
The premise is admittedly a bit vague at this point but there is undeniable coolness in a tiny and commercially-viable turbine solution. They even have a new acronym for it: a Turbine-Recharged Electric Vehicle, or TREV.
A few new photos of the cooler-sized turbine here with a red cone air filter up top are exciting — as well as the firm’s latest road-car fantasy: the Turbo Jet “Ren RS” racecar
prototype in what is said to be production specification!
The ultimate proving ground would really be a racetrack — we hope this whirling dervish gets to race with the best. Read the full release below the gallery.
2019 TechRules Ren RS
REVOLUTIONARY ELECTRIC VEHICLE TURBINE RECHARGING TECHNOLOGY NEARS PRODUCTION READINESS
- Chinese automotive R&D company, Techrules, will soon be ready to begin production of its innovative Turbine-Recharging Electric Vehicle (TREV) technology
- New strategy set to launch technology in fixed and mobile charging stations as well as to commercial vehicle and passenger car OEMs
- Smaller 15 kW turbine expands potential applications to include passenger cars, allowing for faster commercialisation
- Discussions are at an advanced stage regarding location for the world’s largest micro-turbine production plant
Beijing, 25 February 2019 – The Chinese automotive R&D company, Techrules, is approaching production readiness for its ground-breaking Turbine-Recharging Electric Vehicle (TREV) system which was showcased in the Ren supercar at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show.
The TREV system is an all-new patent-protected series hybrid powertrain technology comprising a turbine-generator. TREV combines extensive experience of aviation and electric vehicle technologies with several patented technical innovations, delivering unprecedented levels of efficiency and performance, and ultra-low environmental impact especially with the use of renewable fuels.
Over the past year Techrules has made significant investments to grow its technical capabilities. World renowned electric vehicle expert Prof. Dr. Ching Chuen Chan is overseeing a newly-established Techrules R&D centre in Beijing. Prof. Dr. Chan is, amongst others, a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, a member of the Royal Academy of Engineering, and a Founding Chairman of the World Electric Vehicle Association. Under his guidance a smaller 15 kW turbine is now nearing its production readiness, making it suitable for commercial and industrial applications.
William Jin, CEO of Techrules, said: “Since we showcased the Ren supercar with a twin 80 kW turbine set-up at the 2017 and 2018 Geneva Motor Shows, we received a tremendous amount of interest from OEMs around the world looking to benefit from its exceptional range-extending capabilities for passenger cars and commercial vehicles. So, we decided to adjust our strategy and develop a smaller and cheaper 15 kW version which is more suitable for commercial and passenger vehicles. This is allowing us to commercialise the TREV system much faster: we will be ready for mass production by the end of 2019.”
Techrules will use the TREV system in fixed and mobile charging stations as well as providing it to OEMs for use in commercial vehicles and passenger cars.
In addition, Techrules is currently looking for a suitable international partner to help finalize the development and production of its Ren supercar, with a longer term aim to use its TREV system for its own passenger cars.
The inventor of the new micro-turbine technology, Chief Technology Officer of Techrules, Matthew Jin, explains: “The development of the Ren supercar is giving us extensive real-world experience that only cements our belief that large scale adoption of micro-turbines in electric vehicles will herald a new age for electric mobility.
”Because the core technology of our turbine includes a brand new hybrid air bearing system, we have a previously unavailable route to mass-production of micro-turbines at a reasonable cost. And it can run on renewable fuels such as ethanol and biogas, which would smoothen the transition from the age of fossile fuels to the age of electricity. Because of its superior efficiency, fewer batteries are needed for electric vehicles, saving significant weight and cost, while also reducing emissions and, ultimately, urban pollution.”
Whether applied as a standalone charging system, or as a range extender in an electric vehicle, the micro-turbine can recharge batteries anywhere and at any time. It completely eliminates the problems of range anxiety and the inconvenience of lengthy charging times or poor charge point availability. Since it can use the existing infrastructure it avoids the challenges posed by the construction, cost and capacity of charging networks.
William Jin concludes: “We are in advanced discussions with a number of potential new partners to form strategic alliances. These will allow us to bring our technology, including the Ren supercar, to markets around the world, and to develop new products and commercial applications for our advanced TREV system. But our key priority now is to conclude the negotiations with local municipalities with the help of Professor Dr. Chan, in order to start building the largest micro-turbine facility in the world.”
Techrules is a new automotive research and development company based in Beijing, China. Its mission is to develop automotive powertrain technologies to help next generation vehicles be more efficient, more environmentally-friendly, easier to use and deliver a better user experience.
Techrules is a subsidiary of Txr-S, a research and development company which has other subsidiaries operating in the fields of new materials development, biogas production and distributed energy.
Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.
He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.
Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)car-revs-daily.com.