Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
Car of the Future Open Content Car of the Future Open Content Watch the Program Online

interview > frank > frank 17

Frank 17 (1:58)
Topic(s): Electric & Hybrid / Future Transport
User Comments


© WGBH Educational Foundation

Please watch the clip first. If you plan to use it, review the Rules of Use, then click on the download button.


This clip is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License.

Creative Commons license: BY-NC

Video Transcript

Over this 20-30 years or so, I've been working on this kind of concept of the plug-in hybrid is—I have found that there were many pieces, many missing technologies, that just needed to be a little better in order to make it work in the plug-in hybrid. For example, the transmission technology is one of them.

A good efficient, continuously variable transmission is needed or can be very useful. None of the car companies have really gotten into it. None of the car companies in this country I ever, I can tell you, the car companies that are abroad, they're already adopting the technology and they're moving that forward at a very fast rate.

Another technology that was glaringly missing when I started this 30 years ago, we didn't have computers and without computers, this kind of technology would be very different to implement. And, in fact, the very first cars that I built, I had essentially mechanical computers that was, that was not acceptable, really.

And another technology was electric motors and high-powered electronics. We didn't have the silicon concepts to be able to control a big electric motor I'm talking about a hundred, 200 horsepower electric motor efficiently. We—all that stuff is here, so today the plug-in hybrid now becomes technically possible to be manufactured in high volume because all the bits and pieces of missing technology are all here and I think the time is right, ripe right now to—for some big manufacturers to get into it in a big way. And, I guarantee you, the first company to get out there will make the most money.



Topic | Interview | Scene

Car of the Future Home | Send Feedback | Image Credits | Support NOVA

© | Created April 2008

Support provided by

For new content
visit the redesigned
NOVA site