Originally Posted by Tripod
Can you have a manual car with electric motors? That combination seems a bit strange to me
Sure you can, it all just depends on how they implement it. My 2011 Honda CRZ I used to have was a 6 speed manual hybrid and, although it was a poor winter weather car for northern mn, man do I miss driving that car in the summer. It had such a beautifully simply hybrid system. All they did was replace the traditional flywheel with a high-power brushless motor on a basic 1.5L naturally aspirated SOHC motor. Let me tell you, that combo worked GREAT. Gas mileage of a tiny 4 cylinder, power of a small V6, in a small light car. It was so much fun to throw around, and I averaged 46-48 MPG with it under constant aggressive driving. 50 MPG was easy to obtain if driven more lightly.
There was no plugin for that car. All your electricity came from engine braking or light cruising, during which time the brushless motor became a generator. That was actually much easier to do with a manual vs automatic, and I saved big time on brake pads since the brushless-motor-turned-generator did a fair share of the work to slow down the car if I wanted it to. If I wanted to coast instead I just put it in neutral.
Yep, I would say depending on how they design the system it can be better to have a manual paired with a hybrid system. But there are many other ways to put an electric motor in the mix, and the CRZ IMA system (Integrated Motor Assist) did have its caveats, such as no option to drive on purely electrical power alone.
Originally Posted by eric
Overall, I think this is a good idea. Electric motors powering the rear wheels gives the ability to market awd without the cost associated with AWD
Its alright but I had my hopes up that they would just place a beefy brushless electric motor in the center of the car where the two sections of driveshaft meet. Throw in clutch or two, you would have the options to:
1) assist the front axle gas motor combo during normal acceleration
2) assist both front and rear axles equally during heavy acceleration, starting a heavy towing load, rock crawling, etc
3) drive the rear wheels independently for short periods as your 30ish mile range "EV mode"
All the while retaining true AWD capability even if the electric motor system fails, and probably most important to me the ability to send gas engine power to the rear wheels which is important to me for the way I use my Jeep.
When I'm pulling our 2000+ lb boat back up out of the lake on a wet, steep ramp I want real engine power being sent to every wheel, especially the rears where two or three hundred pounds of tongue weight are being applied. Pure electric rear wheels would help for taking off on snow and ice better than FWD alone but you won't ever call such a car a rock crawler.