Getting everyone to drive an EV is not just a matter of will. Above all, it is a matter of (financial) possibilities and convenience. It is not enough to convince someone they will save a lot of money with an electric car if they cannot afford to buy one. That is the role the Nissan e-Power technology plays in emerging countries. The same applies to Obrist and its Mark II prototype, which got an interesting review in the video above.
Although we still missed information such as the range, we have already told you it is like running 930 mi (1,500 km) with a fully charged battery pack – able to provide 50 km (31 mi) of pure-electric range – and a 30-liter tank of fuel (which can be renewable, by the way). Apart from that, the video shows where Obrist decided to put the filling intake in this hypothetical plug-in hybrid based on the Tesla Model 3. And it says the car drives like a regular Model 3, which is a good thing – or spectacularly unspectacular, as the presenter speaks.
While some have torn down their garments in public while screaming “blasphemy,” Obrist told us using the Model 3 was just a way to show how much more people could buy the best electric vehicle currently for sale if it were a plug-in hybrid.
What most critics of the idea miss is that many countries do not have a proper public charging network, like Portugal. Even in the ones that have it, some people are not willing to waste time at a charger station, such as Tom Voelk, who owns two plug-in hybrids in the US.
The deal with Obrist is that it wants to improve these plug-in hybrids with the small and efficient engine it developed – called Zero Vibration Generator, or ZVG – as well as the lighter battery pack with vacuum fixation. That is the technology both the Mark I, build over a Geely EC7, and the Mark II had the mission to present. Luckily, a less controversial vehicle is under development.
Obrist told us it is already working on the Mark III, a vehicle that will have the HyperHybrid engine and battery pack and ZF eDrive motors. We are not sure if this prototype will be created from the ground up – which would be terribly expensive – or if it will use another vehicle as a donor body.
Considering Obrist wants its technology to be adopted by an OEM, we would bet the Mark III will be based on a vehicle from the targeted manufacturer. Nissan already has the e-Power, and it is struggling to survive. That said, a European carmaker would be the most probable choice. We hope to learn more about that soon.
Source: Obrist Group