Unique Mobility and PEI Electronics' HEV Completes US Coast-to-Coast Tour

March 28, 2000 by Jeff Shepard

A hybrid-electric-powered humvee, operating with advanced propulsion technology developed and manufactured by Unique Mobility Inc. (UQM, Golden, CO), reached a milestone on arriving at the Continental Divide of the Rocky Mountains on a 3,200-mile marathon driving tour from Washington, DC to San Francisco, CA.

The Hybrid-Electric-Powered High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV), developed by PEI Electronics Inc.'s (Huntsville, AL) power-management division, is making the cross-country endurance trip as part of extensive testing of this vehicle's new advanced hybrid-electric power train. The vehicle comes in two hybrid versions, a tactical model designed for the US Army and a general-purpose utility model.

The utility model being used for the cross-country tour is a modified version of the more powerful tactical HMMWV developed for the military, which is also powered by a UQM hybrid-electric propulsion system. The utility model utilizes a small 1.9-liter diesel-fueled engine and UQM's permanent magnet generator to produce 55kW of electrical power to maintain the long-term operation of the vehicle. Two 100kW (125 horsepower) permanent magnet motors developed by UQM, one for each axle, power the vehicle. An operating range of up to 375 miles is possible with a smaller-than-normal tank of diesel fuel.

"We are delighted to be working with PEI Electronics on this important project," said William G. Rankin, chairman and CEO of UQM. "With the current increase in world oil prices, this is an exceptional opportunity to reinforce the necessity and the merits of fuel-saving and environmentally friendly forms of transportation."