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X Prize Cars Episode 10: Wolf Herf, of Herf Duo
Time-length-icon 43m 37s
Publish-date-icon April 17, 2008
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I conducted this interview with Wolf Herf, of Herf Duo, on March 21st, 2008 at the New York Auto Show. We spoke of a wide variety of things, including:

- his team, his background
- his car has an electric drive train, with a highly efficient ICE (>50%, but he doesn't say how)
- energy storage is not batteries - they are easy, but pricey and heavy
- he has a better solution, but again won't say what it is, although it does use capacitors for rapid power release (e.g. acceleration). It's not hydraulics, compressed air, flywheels, or even spring energy, but he claims it's so "obvious" we will all groan when we learn what it is.
- "key is cooling of engine" - if we can reduce the need for that, efficiency will automatically improve
- Amory Lovins concept is weight reduction
- Herf's idea is a "different issue": energy management.
- He's been working on this idea for 20 years, and even shut it down last February, only to restart it when he heard of the AXP.
- Plans both a mainstream and an alternative class entry
- Mainstream: normal vehicle, probably an SUV retrofit, to prove that it doesn't have to be a special vehicle. Maybe Audi A4, or perhaps BMW Highland. They are building prototypes of the engine and energy storage devices.
- Alternative: Designs are finished. Body construction underway, but he's not tipping his hand.
- fuel vapor and water cooling / steam cycle discussion: but how do you put all that into one device. Also, burning natural gas, hydrogen in the same engine.
- plans to use active suspension to maintain comfort and handling
- the AXP has allowed him to get investors interested again, and even to access the marketing budgets of sponsors for technology investments
- wants $20/gallon gas in the US, to match the $3/litre in Europe
- steel stamping discussion (why do we build cars of solid materials?)
- regulation - still make fly/drive by wire illegal, require glass in rear view mirrors, etc.

For more information, please visit X Prize Cars.

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