The Precer Group is a Swedish company developing biomass powerplants. These aren’t the kinds of powerplants you might be thinking of however, their solutions have been put to use in cars, boats, machinery and even homes! They released a biofuel series hybrid vehicle called the Bioracer which looks quite impressive… and fun. The powertrain consists of a wood pellet burner which acts as the heat source for a Stirling engine generator. The Stirling engine charges the traction batteries, which in turn drive an electric motor to power the Bioracer. Precer is also experimenting with steam turbines and claims to have a new engine concept under development that could replace the stirling engine currently in use.
The Bioracer is a 900 pound off-road vehicle with dual A-arm suspension in the front and swingarm suspension in the rear, much like an ATV or sand rail. The vehicle is powered by a 16 hp electric motor and is available with 2 or 4 wheel drive. Energy is stored in a 24 to 96 volt, 100 to 400 amp-hour battery pack depending on the customer’s specifications, providing up to 3 hours of driving on battery power alone. The Stirling engine consumes 3 to 6 pounds of wood pellets to provide enough charge for 10 miles of driving, also depending on configuration.
Precer’s goal is to significantly improve the economy and environmental aspects of vehicles today, by using environmental biofuel that is compatible with all future vehicle requirements. The biomass drivetrain Precer has developed can be adapted for use in any modern vehicle, with the advantages that once switched over to wood pellets as fuel, consumers are able to leverage domestic raw materials that do not require refining or shipping, reducing our dependence on foreign oil. It’s a neat concept and the company has been doing well for many years.