Chinese automotive R&D company Techrules says it is approaching production readiness for its ground-breaking Turbine-Recharging Electric Vehicle (TREV) system which was showcased in the Ren supercar at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show.
The TREV system is an all-new patent-protected series hybrid powertrain technology comprising a turbine-generator. TREV combines extensive experience of aviation and electric vehicle technologies with several patented technical innovations, delivering unprecedented levels of efficiency and performance, and ultra-low environmental impact especially with the use of renewable fuels.
Over the past year Techrules says has made significant investments to grow its technical capabilities. According to the company, world renowned EV expert Prof. Dr. Ching Chuen Chan is overseeing a newly-established Techrules R&D centre in Beijing. Under his guidance, a smaller 15 kW turbine is now nearing its production readiness, making it suitable for commercial and industrial applications.
According to William Jin, CEO of Techrules, “Since we showcased the Ren supercar with a twin 80 kW turbine set-up at the 2017 and 2018 Geneva Motor Shows, we received a tremendous amount of interest from OEMs around the world looking to benefit from its exceptional range-extending capabilities for passenger cars and commercial vehicles. So, we decided to adjust our strategy and develop a smaller and cheaper 15 kW version which is more suitable for commercial and passenger vehicles. This is allowing us to commercialise the TREV system much faster: we will be ready for mass production by the end of 2019.”
Techrules will use the TREV system in fixed and mobile charging stations as well as providing it to OEMs for use in commercial vehicles and passenger cars.
Scouting for partner to productionise Ren supercar
In addition, Techrules is currently looking for a suitable international partner to help finalise the development and production of its Ren supercar, with a longer term aim to use its TREV system for its own passenger cars.
The inventor of the new micro-turbine technology, Chief Technology Officer of Techrules, Matthew Jin, explains: “The development of the Ren supercar is giving us extensive real-world experience that only cements our belief that large scale adoption of micro-turbines in electric vehicles will herald a new age for electric mobility.
”Because the core technology of our turbine includes a brand new hybrid air bearing system, we have a previously unavailable route to mass-production of micro-turbines at a reasonable cost. And it can run on renewable fuels such as ethanol and biogas, which would smoothen the transition from the age of fossil fuels to the age of electricity. Because of its superior efficiency, fewer batteries are needed for electric vehicles, saving significant weight and cost, while also reducing emissions and, ultimately, urban pollution.”
Whether applied as a standalone charging system, or as a range extender in an electric vehicle, the micro-turbine can recharge batteries anywhere and at any time. It completely eliminates the problems of range anxiety and the inconvenience of lengthy charging times or poor charge point availability. Since it can use the existing infrastructure it avoids the challenges posed by the construction, cost and capacity of charging networks.
William Jin concludes: “We are in advanced discussions with a number of potential new partners to form strategic alliances. These will allow us to bring our technology, including the Ren supercar, to markets around the world, and to develop new products and commercial applications for our advanced TREV system. But our key priority now is to conclude the negotiations with local municipalities with the help of Professor Dr. Chan, in order to start building the largest micro-turbine facility in the world.”