The Geely Aeolus concept was designed by Yuhan Zhang under the guidance of Chengdu Gaoyuan Automobile Industry Co.Ltd, a branch of the Chinese automotive company Geely. The Aeolus is a proposal for a subcompact urban vehicle which would be affordable and economical. It’s a far cry from Zhang’s last concept, the Volkswagen Aqua hovercraft!
Targeted at city dwellers in the 20-40 age range, the Geely Aeolus concept has space for three people inside, with the driver sat in a central position up front. The dramatic rear hinged doors are designed to provide easy access for all the occupants. The baggage compartment is located up front, as much of the rear of the car is taken up by the hybrid pneumatic drivetrain components.
According to Zhang, the styling of the Geely Aeolus concept was inspired by nature. Although personally I don’t see anything natural about it. One goal of Zhang was to create a car which had a unique style unlike anything else currently available. In that department she’s succeeded 100 percent.
The Geely Aeolus concept has an unusual hybrid drivetrain which Zhang claims is much cheaper than current hybrid electric systems. The basic principle of pneumatic hybrid systems is to use an internal combustion engine as a pneumatic pump. Each cylinder of the combustion engine is connected via a variable valve to a shared air tank. To conserve energy and help keep the pressurised air tanks topped up, during braking the cylinders draw in air and pump it into the pressure tank .
The pressurized air is then fed to a pneumatic motor which is used to drive the rear wheels. Zhang says the system would offer a range of 75 miles (120 kms), and a top speed of 54 mph (90 km/h). Which kind of begs the question; why not just use the internal combustion engine directly?
Source: Yuhan Zhang