An electric motor in EVERY vehicle!


Like “a computer on every desktop”, but probably better. Much better.

An electric motor in EVERY vehicle! /img/hybrid-series.jpg

I am deeply intrigued by why it makes sense for most of the vehicles market, to move to serial hybrid engines, that is electric+gas engines combined as in the diagram above.

In a series hybrid, the gas engine isn’t connected to the wheels: it just generates electricity to go to either an electric motor or a battery, to later go to the electric motor.

This seems overly complicated, and wasteful: the vehicle has to convert gas to motion, then to electricity, and then to motion again.


  • Gas engines are only efficient at certain speeds. If an engine must just provide electricity to a battery, at constant speed, it can be small and cheap
  • Most of the energy goes directly from the generator to the electric motor, without losses through the charger and the battery
  • With an electric motor for low speeds, you can get away with a cheap single-speed transmission
  • Once batteries get powerful enough, you can just remove all the left part of the picture above, and the car will still work (and remain street-legal!)

Please read the full explanation of why this category of electric vehicles is good, and “what they would sell to the Laggards and Luddites”.

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