The company has joined forces with both Ariel and Morgan for the development and the British automotive technology specialist wants to introduce a new micro-turbine generator.
The technology has been developed and designed specifically for use as a range extender support in electric vehicles and the idea hearkens back to the numerous automakers experimenting with turbine-powered cars during the 1950s and 1960s – among them Rover in the UK and Chrysler in the US. Turbines provide high thermal efficiency – thus producing more power than piston engines of the same size – and can run on any flammable liquid. But the drawback is they produce huge levels of heat and aren’t fuel efficient at all.
Decades later, engineers are taking another look at the technology. The new generation has the same advantages (small size, high power) when used as range-extender generators for electric cars. Chinese startup TechRules presented a pair of supercars using micro-turbines at Geneva. Now Delta Motorsport’s microturbine – dubbed MiTRE – has two power levels: 23 hp (17 kW) and 47 hp (35 kW). They are much smaller and lighter than an equivalent ICE (by 40 and 50 percent, respectively) and have a thermal efficiency of 30 to 35 percent. The partners – Ariel and Morgan – will further develop the technology for use in automotive applications.