Mazda patented rotary engine hybridApril 17, 2020
A rotary engine drives the rear axle, electric motors rotate the front wheels.
Mazda recently received a patent in Japan, which may indicate the return of the brand’s rotary engine. Documents describe a transmission with an internal combustion engine that rotates the rear wheels. In front of each wheel will appear an electric motor with a capacitor system that feeds them. The result is an electric four-wheel drive vehicle that Mazda believes could reduce weight compared to other existing methods for achieving this layout.
The technology that Mazda describes uses a relatively small 3.5-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery operating at 48 volts. This can get off this tiny tank due to the condenser system, which is located under the hood with an internal combustion engine. The system is charged using regenerative braking when the voltage between the terminals of the capacitor reaches a certain level, then the charge goes to the battery. Alternatively, if the driver needs acceleration, and the capacitor does not have enough energy to power the engines in the wheel, then the battery can provide a charge.
As explained in Mazda’s patent, weight reduction is also due to the fact that the capacitor is lighter than the battery for powering the engines on wheels. In addition, high voltage wiring should only go from the engines on the front wheels to the capacitor, which is located under the hood. Keeping these components closer together means less wiring and therefore less weight.
When starting and when driving at low speed, the internal combustion engine and its electric motor drive the rear wheels. According to the patent, wheeled engines “generate power only if high power is required in the high speed range of the vehicle.”
It is worth noting that the patent document describes methods for achieving this arrangement using rotary, inline or V-configuration engines. However, the documents note that the swivel mechanism is especially useful for this system because of its compact size.
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