Plug-In Hybrid Development Consortium Announces Web Site

December 13, 2005 by Jeff Shepard

The Plug-In Hybrid Development Consortium (the "Consortium") announced that the Consortium has published a Web site at to inform and educate the public about the benefits and developments of Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs).

The Consortium is made up of hybrid component suppliers working together to accelerate the commercial production of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. The Consortium plans to offer production-ready technology to automakers to integrate into their own hybrid development programs.

"The Web site will provide an important gathering place for information, coordination and education with other component suppliers and with the public," said David West, VP marketing, Raser Technologies Inc., and a founding member of the Consortium. "Development of PHEVs will require cooperation among manufacturers, suppliers and other organizations. Dual Fuel PHEVs may offer dramatic improvements in fuel economy because they can run on low-cost, rechargeable electric fuel for local daily driving unlike current hybrid cars that still rely primarily on the combustion engine."

The Consortium believes that the next generation of hybrid cars will rely more on the electric motor, especially for local driving, and less on the combustion engine to achieve dramatic improvements in fuel economy and reduced emissions. PHEVs may offer the ability to drive all-electrically for the first 25 to 50 miles before turning on the combustion engine. PHEVs are designed to drive farther on electric energy than current hybrids because they will use more powerful electric motors and supplement the electricity generated on-board with additional electricity recharged at night by simply "plugging-in."

Breakthroughs in ultra capacitors and lithium batteries, which are similar to the batteries used in laptop computers, help reduce the cost of PHEV batteries, especially in high volume. "The growing popularity for this kind of car with consumers is based on the fact that electricity is not only clean and renewable," said Brian Stokes, Manager Clean Air Transportation for Pacific Gas & Electric and co-founder of the Consortium, "but it costs about one-fourth the price of gasoline, and we can generate it right here in the U.S."

"With the advent of new advanced energy storage systems such as lithium ion polymer batteries, plug-in hybrid vehicles are bound to become a commercial reality," said Dr. Sankar Das Gupta, CEO, Electrovaya, and a member of the Consortium. "We are excited to work with the Consortium to develop low-cost on-board energy storage solutions to help make plug-in hybrid vehicles a most compelling solution today."

"Plug-in hybrids are different from the electric-only cars introduced a few years ago," said Tom Kaporch, an electric drive industry expert, SVP business development for Raser Technologies Inc. and an advisor to the Consortium, "PHEVs aren't limited by battery range, and they give the consumer a choice of running on electricity, or gas, or both." Kaporch added, "You only have to plug in when you want to, and the benefit of getting electric fuel that costs one-fourth as much as gasoline, conveniently at home without having to go to the gas station as often makes a lot of sense for many people."