Raser Technologies Starts HEV Development Consortium

August 29, 2005 by Jeff Shepard

Raser Technologies Inc. (Provo, UT), a developer of advanced electric motor and controller technology for electric motors and controllers, announced that it will work with ultracapacitor manufacturer Maxwell Technologies Inc. and portable power solutions developer Electrovaya Inc. as participants in a cooperative research and development consortium called the Advanced Hybrid Vehicle Development Consortium. The Consortium is expected to be made up of key component suppliers who intend to work together with participating automobile manufacturers to coordinate the development of key components, and demonstrate the advanced technologies in a next-generation, electric-motor-dominant, plug-in hybrid-electric vehicle (PHEV).

The current and future participants in the Consortium intend to work together to develop a working, proof-of-concept, passenger PHEV that may achieve 100 mpg to 200 mpg by operating in an all-electric, zero-emission mode for the first 20 mile to 50 miles. The dual-mode PHEV could then continue to operate in a high-efficiency, hybrid-electric mode to achieve conventional range of operation. This mileage estimate is based on a Department of Transportation study reporting that a majority of vehicles in the US average less than 50 miles a day. By leading a cooperative research and development consortium with the participation of a major automobile manufacturer, the Consortium members plan to demonstrate the benefits of PHEVs.

The prototype PHEVs are anticipated to be built with off-the-shelf automobile components and available advanced hybrid technologies. The proof-of-concept hybrid vehicle is intended to demonstrate that the benefits of a PHEV can be achieved in a manufacturable design that meets consumer price and performance objectives, delivers better fuel economy, and provides environmental benefits. An off-the-shelf PHEV-20 (20-mile electric range) and an advanced PHEV-50 (50-mile electric range) vehicle may deliver improved performance and extended vehicle range and battery life, while operating for just $0.60 per equivalent gallon of gas on electric fuel.

Raser CEO Brent Cook stated, "In order to achieve the objectives automakers are striving for with hybrid vehicles, the electric motor has to play a dominant role in reducing emissions and improving fuel economy beyond what we now have. By working together, we can help reduce the research and development gap between advanced component suppliers and the OEMs to accelerate vital new technologies to market by demonstrating their readiness in the next-generation hybrid vehicles."