The difficult road to commercialization of highway electric vehicles has taken another step forward. This year has seen the introduction of two electric hybrids after modest success in leasing full electric vehicles in California.
We were fortunate in getting a sales representative and hybrid vehicle from Bernardi Toyota for a Power Engineering Society meeting. Mr. Maurice Boiteau of Bernardi Toyota will discuss the engineering details of the Toyota Electric Hybrid vehicle and demonstrate its features.
Mr. Boiteau is a Sales Consultant and Internet Sales Manager for Bernardi Toyota in Framingham, Massachusetts. He earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Northeastern University, College of Engineering. Maurice also consults to industrial clients through his consulting company, ECO Technology. His specialty is the design and development of fluid handling systems through experimental modeling. He has worked on numerous design projects for power plant boiler and pollution control equipment. He has also worked as a Senior Process Engineer for Baker Process in South Walpole, where he contributed to the design and testing of continuous process centrifuges and vacuum filters.
The 2001 Toyota Prius is the world's first mass-produced gas and electric powered hybrid automobile. There are 35,000 vehicles currently on the road since it was introduced in Japan in December 1997. The US version of the car was placed on sale in July 2000 with 12,000 units available for this country this model year.
The Prius has an innovative drive train comprised of a 1.5 liter gasoline engine and a 30 kilowatt electric motor which drive the front wheels through a continuously variable transmission. The gasoline engine is the primary source of power for the car, and serves to both power the vehicle as well as charge the battery. The Prius does not need to be plugged in to charge the battery, and is compatible with the existing gasoline distribution infrastructure. With the Toyota Hybrid System electronic control unit, kinetic energy is recovered through a regenerative braking system and the electrical energy is stored in a 110 pound nickel metal hydride battery. Electric power is used for accelerating the vehicle from a stop or when additional power is required for passing or climbing hills.
In addition to it's advanced powertrain, the Prius also includes additional energy saving features such as a low rolling resistance tires, low coefficient of drag, and a membrane system inside the fuel tank which reduces fuel evaporation. The interior dashboard features a multifunction touch screen information system that displays the power source in use, instantaneous fuel economy, and regenerated energy, as well as serving as an audio system control panel.
The meeting will be held at the National Grid ( formerly NEES ) auditorium in Westboro, Ma. At 7 P.M. on October 18, 2000. National Grid is located just west of route 495.
For further information call Stan Tanenholtz at 508-485-7185