On September 14th, Delta Motorsport launched a brand new micro-turbine technology aimed at helping electric cars match petrol or diesel-powered equivalents.
Developed in a joint venture with Innovate UK, MiTRE is specifically designed for use as a range extender for electric vehicles. Two complete MiTRE prototype systems with 17kW power output have so far been produced and one of them has been fitted into Delta's in-house EV, the E-4 Coupe.
"This is an exciting and challenging project," states Delta Motorsport's managing director Simon Dowson. "One of the main issues seemingly holding electric cars back is the lack of range, but this technology changes that" he continues. "We demonstrated proof of concept when we fitted one of the prototypes to our E4 Coupe electric sportscar, and our projections show the cost of the system is low enough to be attractive to the automotive market, so we have a really potent solution to advance the take-up of electric vehicles."
As Delta explains, when scaled to 35kW output power, MiTRE is approximately 40% smaller and 50% lighter than an equivalent piston engine device, yet still achieves a target of close to 30% thermal efficiency (280g/kWh) with extremely low emissions. MiTRE can also be run on a range of fuels, and fitting a larger heat exchanger improves thermal efficiency to nearly 35% (240g/kWh).
Ariel and Morgan car manufacturers have already signed up with Delta to develop 17kW and 35kW power output versions of MiTRE. As this technology has great potentital, many others are expected to follow soon.