Thursday, December 24, 2009
Chevy Volt's Granddaddy: GM's 1969 Gasoline-Electric Hybrid Kadett Stir-Lec 1
More often than not, people tend o believe that technologies like hybrid or all electric drivetrains are a recent discovery, something which is entirely wrong. Among the many examples throughout automotive history is GM's own Stir-Lec 1 concept. Seen here in an advertisement from 1969, the Opel Kadett based study used a hybrid drivetrain that worked in a similar way to the one found in the modern Chevrolet Volt. In particular, the Stir-Lec 1 was equipped with a small capacity Stirling engine mounted at the rear that recharged a pack of 14 conventional lead acid batteries which in turn powered the electric motor that drove the rear wheels.
General Motors claimed in the print advert that the experimental hybrid vehicle was capable of reaching a top speed of 55mph or about 88km/h.
And while there's no doubt that modern hybrid gasoline-electric drivetrains are far more advance and reliable enough for everyday use than their experimental predecessors, one cannot but wonder what today's world would have been like if GM or any other automaker for that matter, had focused on the development of these type of alternative powertrains.
Scan via: Bangshift - Thanks for tip Alex!