Leo Motors, a Korean company engaged in the development, manufacture and sale of electric vehicles (EV) and EV components, announced what it believes is a more efficient range extender for hybrids and electric vehicles. Its new Zinc Air Fuel Cell Generator (ZAFCG) is said to let one of the company’s EVs run for 100 miles at a cost of only $4.40 – “less than a third of the cost to run a gasoline engine in Korea, when comparing the mileage and cost of the petroleum-based fuels.”

The Leo Motors ZAFCG system, designed to be operated from inside of a zinc-hybridized electric vehicle, feeds zinc balls into the system automatically, collects sludge in the filter, and stops the generation of electricity as soon as the battery is fully charged, or as soon as the driver does not want to charge the battery any further. In tests which showed that it was able to get up to 20% more electricity than had previously been achieved, the company found that “1 kg of zinc balls can generate 12.5 kW electric energy in its ZAFCG. At 12.5 kW, Leo’s electric compact car can run 126 km (78 miles). The retail price of 1 kg of zinc balls is around $3.40 US.”

Leo Motors
image via Leo Motors

With the specific gravity of zinc being 7.2, according to Leo Motors, a one-liter container can carry 7.2 kg of zinc balls. The company notes this because it believes a compact EV can run 1,600 miles with a three-liter zinc tank in the car. It also notes that a hybrid EV with a ZAFC system “can use far less space in the car than an engine generator plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.” And, in reference to the sludge mentioned earlier, this zinc oxide is said to have “economic value as it can be recycled or can be used as valuable raw material for rubber in tires, ointments to prevent bacteria and fungi from reproducing, a sunscreen and in paints, and in other applications.”

““In Korea, we believe the energy cost efficiency of zinc used in ZAFCG can compete against crude oil, not only in null but in many circumstances,” said Dr. null, CEO of Leo Motors, in a statement. “For example, a thermoelectric power plant can replace oil with zinc without cost burden, and in doing so can make itself into a zero emission thermoelectric power plant.”

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