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Hyperdrive for a New Millennium

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The internal combustion (IC) engine is the most efficient way to convert chemical energy into kinetic energy, Severinsky said. "With our drive, we make this efficiency the maximum
possible. We discovered, over several years of development, that this type of drive is suitable for all kinds of cars, from gasoline to diesel or fuel cell powered cars. And, it can fit into any vehicle from 2,000-pound Smart cars to the largest SUV, like the Ford Excursion, even if pulling a trailer weighing 20,000 pounds."

In city driving, a vehicle equipped with Hyperdrive would run primarily on electric power and emit almost zero emissions. The gasoline engine would run briefly to recharge batteries.
Severinsky said the powertrain's performance would match or exceed speed, acceleration, grade climbing and towing of current vehicles and would beat current hybrids for its towing and load capacities.

"No other hybrid electric introduced or announced to date has been able to match Hyperdrive's performance, fuel economy and environmental achievements. Nor can any other be produced as economically."

Because the Hyperdrive uses existing materials and technologies, but eliminates transmissions found on today's vehicles, it could match current powertrains in cost if mass
produced. And, since it runs on gasoline, diesel or other existing fuels, no changes would be needed for the world's production or distribution infrastructure, unlike fuel cell vehicles that would need a hydrogen distribution system, added Paice's chief operating officer, Ted Louckes.

"We do have the silver bullet," Louckes said. "There will be no excuses not to use it, and there will be additional benefits."

Brave New World

It takes a lot of bravado for a three-year-old company to claim that it has the solution to the auto industry's headaches. After all, there have been claims of miracle technologies before, but Severinsky and his colleagues have high-powered backgrounds that lend credibility to their statements.

Severinsky, a native of the former Soviet Union, is an internationally recognized authority on power electronics and control systems and an expert on lead-acid battery applications. After emigrating to the U.S. in 1978, he helped develop the uninterruptable power source (UPS) technology to protect computers when utility power is cut.

He got the idea for the Hyperdrive waiting in a gas line at a filling station during the oil crisis of 1979. Internal combustion engines don't use fuel efficiently, but they are the best at converting chemical energy into mechanical energy. Severinsky did early work on a hybrid, to incorporate the best of the IC engine with an electric motor, a predecessor to hybrid vehicles just now coming to market.

Robert Templin, a protege of General Motor's renowned scientist Charles Kettering and now a Paice director, became involved in Severinsky's project about nine years ago. It was only when high voltage semiconductors became commercially available in 1998 that the technology to make his hybrid powertrain became possible and formed the foundation for Paice - Power Assisted Internal Combustion Engine

Working in semi-obscurity, Paice's team grew out of automotive ranks nationwide. Louckes, with a 40-year career at GM's Oldsmobile Division, joined two years ago. Although doubtful at first, Louckes said it only took two weeks to realize the Hyperdrive was "the real thing."

Paice recruited Nathanael J. "Nat" Adamson, now executive vice president, with 32-plus years at Ford directing the Commercial Truck Vehicle Center. Another Ford veteran, David F. Polletta, spent three decades in powertrain including electric and hybrid vehicles, and now is engineering vice president at Paice.

And Paice added directors from Bosch North America, Kysor Industrial and the former Clark Equipment. With a solid team intact, Severinsky received financial backing from the
Maryland-based Abell Foundation, a nonprofit organization that promotes public education, economic development, and health-related human services and that now holds a board seat.

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