Science » Technologies and discoveries
Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov

Russian scientist to be honored for suing Toyota and driving its hybrid

Alexander Severinsky, a Russian scientist, the inventor of the power system for hybrid cars, will be inducted into the Innovation Hall of Fame at A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland .

The power system invented by the Russian scientist is used in Toyota Prius and other hybrid cars of the Japanese car maker. The ceremony will take place October 30.

Alexander Severinsky, a candidate of sciences, lived and worked in Russia at one of Moscow institutes, working on precise measurements in radio electronics and physics. In 1978 he emigrated in the United States and began working on the problem of high fuel consumption in vehicles. In 1992 he patented several variations of the hybrid power system. On October 14, 1999 the scientist presented the Power-Assisted Internal Combustion Engine (PAICE) in Detroit developed in cooperation with Maryland University’s A. James Clark School of Engineering.

US and Japanese car-making concerns evinced great interest in Severinsky’s invention, although top managers of the companies eventually decided not to take his developments into their consideration. One of Toyota’s engineers subsequently recreated the idea of Severinsky’s hybrid system.

When Toyota Prius was unveiled, Severinsky started to fight for his patent rights with the Japanese corporation. In 2005 he won one case, but still has other cases pending.

It is worthy of note that the US inventor of Russian descent drives a Toyota Prius hybrid despite his dispute with Toyota and says that he is very happy with the car.

A hybrid vehicle is a vehicle that uses two or more distinct power sources to propel the vehicle. Power sources include:

On-board or out-board rechargeable energy storage system (RESS)
Gasoline or Diesel fuel
Compressed air
Human powered e.g. pedaling or rowing
Compressed or Liquid Natural Gas
Coal, wood or other solid combustibles