Poor or absent infrastructure for supplying energy for electric vehicles (EVs) and a short driving range prevent the widespread use of EVs in Japan. In this study, an inexpensive series hybrid system, consisting of an EV and a trailer-type engine generator (TEG), was developed to extend the driving range. A trailer and a gasoline operating engine generator, which can be supplied at common gas stations, were designed and manufactured. Several driving experiments to evaluate the performance of this new system were carried out. Considering the total weight of 1,900 kg and the small engine, the average fuel economy over 11 km/liter obtained in the experiment was notable. This series hybrid system achieved a better performance than the plug-in hybrid system which has been developed recently. The Japanese government agreed to register this TEG as a special-purpose vehicle for emergency power supply in July 2007.
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