Suzuki Swift Plug-in Hybrid ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: Suzuki Swift Plug-in Hybrid

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Suzuki Swift Plug-in Hybrid

Suzuki Swift Plug-in Hybrid
Suzuki is testing 60 Swift plug-in hybrids in Japan this autumn. The Swift plug-in was first seen at the the Tokyo Motor show in October. The small K-car may not have the range of the Volt, but the price should make it an attractive option if it gets to production.

The hybrid engine combines a 600cc ICE with an electric motor.  The car runs off the battery pack exclusively (like the Chevy Volt), while the gas engine is used to recharge the battery pack after it runs low. The battery pack runs down the center center of the car and the electric motor can produce 55kW, while the gas engine can produce 40 kW.

The plug-in hybrid (really, it's an Extended Range Electric Vehicle or E-REV) can run 9 miles (15 km) on a fully charged battery (I've seen some reports saying 12 miles or 20 km).  After that, it relies on the gas engine to recharge the battery pack.  Sanyo announced they will be providing the lithium-ion battery pack for the Swift.

Compared to the Chevy Volt, that's a low range (the Volt is expected to run 40 miles on a full charge before it needs the gas engine to kick in).  But for a mini city based car, 9 miles may be enough.  It should also keep the costs way down, as the lithium-ion battery pack may end up being the most expensive part in the car.

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