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N0908Kamenscar 275Px
N0908Car 275Px
Dean Kamen is working on a Stirling engine car and it’s on the road…

The same day that Ford and General Motors announced catastrophic third-quarter losses, Dean Kamen was showing off his new electric car.

The prototype vehicle, a zippy two-seat hatchback designed with more than a passing resemblance to the Volkswagen Beetle, can go about 60 miles on a single charge of its lithium battery and with practically zero emissions.

The secret?

“It’s the world’s first Stirling hybrid electric car,” its inventor said with a flourish.

Installed in the car’s trunk compartment is a Stirling engine invented at DEKA, Kamen’s technology company in the Manchester Millyard. It powers the features that would normally drain huge power from the battery, notably the defroster and heater.

That leaves the battery primarily for propulsion. “You’re running a pure electric, which is enormously cheaper to operate and enormously more environmentally friendly,” Kamen explained.

And if the battery does run low, the Stirling can recharge it, so you’ll never get stranded, he said. That’s why Kamen calls his Stirling engine “an insurance policy” for the electric car.

Kamen showed off his state registration for his new car, listed as a 2008 DEKA Revolt. “I’m a car manufacturer!” he grinned. “It’s so exciting!”

More:
Make Pt1178
The Two-Can Stirling Engine- The Stirling engine has long captivated inventors and dreamers. Here are complete plans for building and operating a two-cylinder model that runs on almost any high-temperature heat source. MAKE 07 – page 90.

Make Pt1180
Dean Kamen: The Dean of Engineering. Wasting time is an unspeakable crime, says Segway inventor Dean Kamen. MAKE 04 – page 28.

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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