Segway inventor builds electric car

Submitted by acohill on Mon, 11/10/2008 - 08:53

Up in New Hampshire, a new electric vehicle is undergoing road tests. New Hampshire is not normally counted as one of the big auto-producing states, but the move to electric vehicles is likely to bring some new players into the field. As a side issue, the government might have more impact by giving a few million dollars to every firm in the U.S. working on electric vehicle technology rather than trying to bail out the high cost Detroit manufacturers.

Dean Kamen, inventor of the Segway two wheel electric vehicle, is now road-testing a small electric car powered by batteries, with a Stirling engine that recharges the batteries as needed and can also run the heater and defroster. The Stirling engine runs on almost any kind of combustible fuel, including gas, diesel fuel, and biofuels. Kamen has stayed away from the more complicated hybrid designs that use both a gas engine and an electric motor to propel the car. In Kamen's design, the electric motor does all the propulsion, just like Chevrolet's Volt design.

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