Four companies have created a new cooperative research and development consortium intended to develop a working prototype of a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) that may achieve 100–200 mpg US with the ability to operate in an all-electric, zero-emission mode for the first 20–50 miles.
The founders expect that the Advanced Hybrid Vehicle Development Consortium (AHVDC) will grow to include key component suppliers who will work together with participating automobile manufacturers to coordinate the development of key components and to demonstrate these advanced technologies in an electric-motor dominant, plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.
The four founders of the AHVDC are:
Raser Technologies, a technology licensing company that develops and licenses advanced electric motor, electric motor drive and related technologies
A leading gas and electric utility based in San Francisco
The founders anticipate building the prototype PHEVs with off-the-shelf automobile components and available advanced hybrid technologies. The first proof-of-concept hybrid vehicle will 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.
At current prices, a PHEV-20 (20-mile electric range) and an advanced PHEV-50 (50-mile electric range) vehicle may operate for some $0.60 per equivalent gallon of gas (using electricity) and based on driving style and range.
Utah Senator Orrin hatch chimed in with support for the announcement. (Raser is a Utah-based company.)
As the author of the CLEAR ACT, the provision in the energy bill promoting the use of alternative fuel and hybrid vehicles, this is exactly the kind of industry innovation we were seeking in the energy bill. This consortium will help American automakers become more competitive by accelerating the development of new technologies necessary for the next generation of hybrid vehicles.—US Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT)