Frankfurt – The automotive future is the theme of the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt – and OBRIST Powertrain, a development company from Lustenau on Lake Constance in Austria, wants to make a decisive contribution to this.
In Frankfurt, OBRIST Powertrain will present its system with the name "HyperHybrid": In this system, the vehicle is driven purely electrically, but it combines a – very small and very economical – vibration-free combustion engine with a battery and an electric motor. The combustion engine is a two-cylinder, 54 HP, one-litre petrol engine that directly drives two generators to generate electricity. This engine exclusively generates electricity (for driving the electric motors and for charging the battery) – the gearshift and transmission are eliminated, as optimal speeds are used for different driving conditions. When the engine is running, it only runs in the optimum speed range (Lambda 1) at this so-called stoichiometric ratio, all fuel molecules can react completely with atmospheric oxygen, without oxygen being absent or unburnt fuel remaining – complete combustion takes place. This means that this engine no longer emits any air pollutants, which means that time-consuming after-treatment of the exhaust gas is no longer necessary. The entire unit is also optimised for smooth running – thanks to counter-rotating crankshafts, all vibrations are filtered out – Obrist speaks of a "Zero Vibration Generator" and promises smooth running like a twelve-cylinder engine. But that's not all; this combination is then encapsulated so that it becomes virtually inaudible.
This silent power plant then allows a small high-performance battery for the HyperHybrid – in comparison to purely electric vehicles; this does not cost €10,000 to €12,000, but just like the generator, only around €2,000.
All of this is much lighter than the battery alone in a purely electric vehicle; even lighter than a classic hybrid. This weight is also accommodated far down in the vehicle for the benefit of driving behaviour.
Thanks to this weight saving, the HyperHybrid is also particularly efficient – in mixed driving mode it manages with less than three litres and thus beats comparable hybrid vehicles by far; and its range of over 1,000 kilometres is unbeatable.
A small engine, small battery and fewer chassis parts also have a positive effect on costs – and thus on the price: the basic version of a smaller mid-range car with HyperHybrid could cost less than €20,000, which is around €10,000 less than, for example, an electric Golf.
This technical solution is also future-proof: of course, the engine can also tolerate the synthetic fuels of the future. These fuels are produced with renewable energies, so their CO2 footprint is completely offset.
Even today, the HyperHybrid not only meets the European targets for CO2 emissions, it even exceeds the values planned for 2030.
The particularly good driving dynamics come exclusively from the high-performance battery, which is small in its energy content and therefore cost-saving. Summer and winter operation as well as uphill driving are possible without any restrictions.
Such a car is clean, low CO2 emissions (and with synthetic fuels in the future even CO2 free), comfortable and affordable – the ideal combination of the best ingredients from the world of mobility.
OBRIST Powertrain has covered 15,000 kilometres in 6 years with a prototype (Mark I) and proved the theoretical data in real driving conditions under all weather conditions. A new test vehicle (Mark II) is currently being prepared.
OBRIST is negotiating with renowned automobile manufacturers on different continents about licences to take over the system; a first licence agreement was concluded with a prominent global market participant.
Prof. Reinhard Hüttl, Head of the Geoforschungsinstitut [Geosciences Research Institute] and Vice President of acatech – Deutsche Akademie der Technikwissenschaften [German Academy of Science and Engineering], explained the principle of the series hybrid in August in the Wirtschaftswoche:
“In series hybrids, a combustion engine charges the battery only as a generator – the actual drive is fully electric. The vehicle is lighter and cheaper than the parallel hybrid, the combustion engines would work uncompromisingly only in the optimised range – largely emission-free and low-consumption. Modern series hybrids already meet the exhaust gas and consumption standards that will apply in the EU from 2030. The existing infrastructure (filling stations) can continue to be used".
Prof. Robert Schlögl, Director of the Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society in Berlin and at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion in Mülheim an der Ruhr, propagates the series hybrid as a new type of electric drive in the WELT: "The electricity for these engines should not come from a battery, but from a special combustion engine in which synthetic fuels are burned. The turbine supplies a small battery with the energy needed to operate the electric motor. This battery, which is small compared to purely electric vehicles, can also absorb the energy recovered during braking." This drive is already being used many times – "in practically all large machines".
OBRIST Powertrain is an Austrian development company focusing on the development of core components for hybrid and battery-powered vehicles.
Our components and systems are compact, simple and incredibly cost effective. We offer scalable solutions that perfectly cover the variety of requirements from affordable mass market mobility to the premium segment.
OBRIST Powertrain was founded in 2011 as a natural extension of OBRIST Engineering, which has been working on environmentally friendly thermal management solutions for the automotive industry since 1996. Our series powertrain solution, the HyperHybrid, was developed in close cooperation with the automotive industry. The need to accelerate the market penetration of efficient alternative powertrain systems was also a strong driver. This concept can significantly reduce the CO2 footprint of global mobility.
We offer a plug-in hybrid powertrain solution that excels with maximum energy and cost efficiency and unsurpassed compactness. This is achieved thanks to a patented and simple design that includes a variety of functions.
The OBRIST team is a dedicated group of individuals with excellent knowledge in all major technical fields, especially thermal management, hybrid powertrain development and control engineering.
We create the sustainable mobility of tomorrow.
OBRIST Powertrain at the IAA, Hall 4.1, Booth A34
Director of Communications
Tel: +43 660 5642275