The 100MPG Lightning Hydraulic Hybrid Vehicle

by , 03/17/09

lightning hybrids, automotive x-prize, biodiesel vehicle, sustainable transportation, green car, sustainable design, 100mpg vehicle, hydraulic hybrid

Loveland, Colorado-based Lightning Hybrids has its sights set on the $10 million automotive x-prize with a sleek biodiesel-fueled vehicle that they claim will break the 100MPG barrier for a production sedan. Once completed, their hydraulic hybrid prototype will boast 240 hp, a carbon fiber chassis, and a 0-60 speed of 5.9 seconds.

lightning hybrids, automotive x-prize, biodiesel vehicle, sustainable transportation, green car, sustainable design, 100mpg vehicle, hydraulic hybrid

Lightning Hybrid‘s 4 wheel sedan will feature a 90 HP high-efficiency biodiesel engine in addition to a 150 HP hydraulic motor/pump and accumulator system. Whereas electric hybrids like the Prius store energy from regenerative breaking in a battery, hydraulic hybrids work by storing energy in a pressurized chamber and releasing it upon acceleration.

As told by Lightning Hybrids team leader Dan Johnson to Gas 2.0: “We have developed a unique and patent-pending biodiesel-hydraulic hybrid vehicle which emphasizes thermodynamic and hydraulic system efficiencies, lightweight mechanical and composite structures, and clean sports car styling.”

The vehicle will be officially unveiled at the Denver Auto Show this April, and they are aiming for release in 2010 at a price point of $39,000 – $59,000.

+ Lightning Hybrids

Via and Autoblog Green

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  1. cyberpine May 18, 2011 at 6:15 am

    HHV with a CVT transmission is cheap to build and much cheaper to keep for 10 years as opposed to replacing a $10k battery system. I think this would be a great application for minivans , suvs, midsize and fullsize pickup trucks too.

    I’ll be one of the first to trade up when a midsized, versatile pickup truck with a midgate and under bed storage comes out with the technology.

  2. joelandrew May 11, 2009 at 11:25 pm

    Hydraulic does not store more energy per pound than electric. That’s one of the reasons it’s seen more on heavy-duty vehicles. It does, however, have a higher power density. This means regenerative energy can be stored more quickly in a hydraulic system than an electric system. A hydraulic system could allow a vehicle to recapture nearly 100% of the energy normally lost during braking. Electric systems can only capture the majority of the energy when decelerating slowly. That’s the difference between energy density and power density.

  3. jellymuscles March 22, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    If you would put standard two-doors with hand roll up windowns on the car, I will buy 100,000 of them for openers. Bio-diesel is made from carbon taken from the air (not fossil fuel) and put back into the air when used. It is as carbon nutrial as solar electricity. This car essentially has no cluch, no battery (except for lights), no gears and very little else to wear out.

  4. Will March 20, 2009 at 9:28 am

    This is fantastic!! Hydraulic systems store more energy per lb than electric, and you don’t have chemical batteries to dispose of! Good luck to these folks.

    I have read a couple articles about hydraulic hybrids, though they usually involve trucks. The latest one I found was “Big Green Trucks” found here:

    I would love to see this hydraulic hybrid technology take off!

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