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Jeez, that hack last week that happened to the Colonial Pipeline is crazy. Cyber crime is no joke, and the Colonial Pipeline, which carries almost half of the gasoline, diesel and other fuels used on the East Coast, had to shut down its entire network on Friday after a cyber attack by an Eastern European-based criminal gang managed to hack into its network. Gasoline is still a very precious resource – for some reason – and people are still holding onto internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. Some have made the stretch to hybrid vehicles, because it means no real change, just improvements in terms of fuel efficiency. However, as alternative fuel vehicles become the norm, hybrid vehicles may start to evolve and pose some serious competition with a little more electric power.
The idea for this article was sparked by the Koenigsegg Gemera, a hybrid vehicle unlike any seen before. Called a Tiny Friendly Giant” – or TFG for short, the hybrid is a combination of three (technically four) motors. There is an electric motor for each rear wheel producing 500 bhp (500 horsepower) and 1000 Nm (737 lb-ft of torque), and one E-motor on the crankshaft that produces an extra 400 bhp (405 horsepower) and 500 Nm (370 lb-ft of torque) to power the front wheels in addition to the internal combustion engine. This is a hybrid after all, and the ICE making up its own chunk of the power is a Twin Turbo 2.0-liter 3-cylinder engine, able to generate about 600 horsepower and 440 lb-ft of torque.
It’s definitely different in terms of hybrid vehicles. How does that thing even keep all three electric motors powered without charging up? How can it still be just an ICE hybrid? For one thing, this vehicle comes with an 800V 15 kWh battery pack onboard, able to provide 900 kW of discharge and up to 200 kW of recharge. Furthermore, consumers can get 30 miles in EV only mode. It just doesn’t make sense, but whether science or magic, it works, and it definitely changes things when it comes to ICE hybrids staying alive. We all thought plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) would eventually take over.
The design for the Koenigsegg Gemera is very akin to the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. A plug-in hybrid SUV, the Outlander PHEV is powered by a 2.0-liter engine and a 12-kWh battery that powers two high-performance electric motors in the rear, able to travel 24 miles on electricity alone. To keep this up, the Outlander PHEV would need to charge up every so often. The Koenigsegg Gemera does the same, with two rear electric motors powered by the car’s battery pack, doing the heavy lifting for the initial takeoff of the vehicle, which is then taken over by the front wheels with the twin turbo ICE and e-motor.
Oh, did we mention the Koenigsegg Gemera doesn’t come with a reduction gear or transmission to keep the ICE engine from exploding? That’s another unique factor about this hybrid system that makes the Gemera stand out, and when it comes to a competitive market, being able to stand out makes all the difference. ICE vehicles are still going strong, with or without the Colonial Pipeline and all of its precious, precious gasoline at the pump. What do you think about the Koenigsegg Gemera? Should more hybrids integrate electric motors to take care of some of the heavy lifting, or should more automakers just make the jump to plug-in hybrid vehicles already? Join the discussion on NowCar social media.