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Phoenix Motorcars and UQM to Develop Plug-In Series Hybrid Sport Utility Truck

Sut_front3_large
The all-electric version of the Sport Utility Truck (SUT).

Phoenix Motorcars and UQM Technologies will collaborate on the development of a plug-in series hybrid model of the sport utility truck currently produced and sold by Phoenix as an all-electric vehicle. (Earlier post.)

The Phoenix Sport Utility Truck is a five-passenger dual-cab pickup truck measuring 194 inches in length with a wheelbase of 108 inches.  The plug-in hybrid model to be developed will include a small gasoline-fueled internal combustion engine for a range extender, a UQM PowerPhase 100 propulsion system—the same used in the all-electric model—and NanoSafe lithium titanate batteries from Altair Nanotechnologies, Inc.

The series hybrid configuration (battery dominant with range extender) is similar to that chosen by GM for its first Volt powertrain. Phoenix will announce further details about the configuration of the powertrain and operating strategy in the future.

The development of a plug-in hybrid model of our sport utility truck is an important expansion of our model offering that we expect will meet the needs of a broader range of customers. Plug-in hybrids offer the opportunity to operate the vehicle in the most common driving environments in all-electric mode, saving money and reducing emissions, while maintaining the flexibility to travel cross-country.

We believe a potentially large market will develop for this category of vehicle and we intend to develop a high performing vehicle that our customers can be excited to own and drive.

—Dan Elliott, President and CEO, Phoenix Motorcars

Comments

marcus

Great news.

Greg woulf

I was hoping with the fast recharge they could be the first to pull off a pure electric with no performance drawbacks.

Just the same, I think this will gain them market share because of the extended range.

Richard

Horrible news. This is going backwards! If you want a range extender, bolt on a small generator in the bed and plug the damn thing in. Done.

Cervus

Richard:

I imagine that said generator would be far worse in terms of efficiency and emissions than a standard vehicle ICE. I don't see how this is "going backwards". The market for PHEVs is likely larger than for a pure EV, and will thus have a greater impact on overall emissions.

K

I found the article a little confusing. Still, I agree with Richard.

It probably is possible to have a small ICE w/generator carried in the truck bed. Remove it when not needed, use it for longer trips. My estimate $3000-$5000 for a first class job.

But exhaust, sound, and gasoline fumes must be dealt with as soon as an ICE w/generator is added. That is why I suspect they would be better off increasing battery capacity to increase range.

dwf

Richard & K

That is what a SERIES Hybrid is! A Small ICE that turns a generator which recharges the batteries. The ICE DOES NOT TURN THE WHEELS DIRECTLY! The electric motor(s) turn the wheels using battery power, and maybe directly from the generator when needed.

A PARALLEL Hybrid is like a Prius. The ICE applies power directly to the wheels, with assistance from the electric motor.

The Phoenix/UQM is a SERIES Hybrid!

dwf

On the other hand... Although this article says it is a Series hybrid, the press release on the UQM web site does not specifically say if it will be a Series Hybrid or a Parallel Hybrid...

litesong

Parallel or series hybrid, its still ICE...& manifolds, injectors, catalytic converters, mufflers, gas tanks, stuff & nonsense. My 1988 Ford Festiva averaged 45MPG. Just not worth going to a hybrid. Just put extra batteries in the Phoenix. Just transport me & my work clothes & helmet to work. I'll sit next to more batteries. Also build Phoenix so you can adapt to more efficient batteries when they come out....better yet, nano ultracapacitors. But I'm sure they won't be able to upgrade. Hurry up folks! No, don't go that way. Go the right direction!

Darrin

I think it's great news. All electric would be ideal IF the batteries could charge within 10 minutes, anywhere, guaranteed, but, they can't. A special (expensive) rapid charger is needed to charge on-the-quick. Normal charging time is closer to 6 hours. A small, (hopefully efficient) backup (bio-fueled) generator would be great to allow the batteries to be charged, while camping, on long trips, hauling heavy junk, etc.

Stan Peterson

More words written about a vehicle that if ever actually constructed, will never be produced in quantity. Its not sufficient to replace the ink, paper, and electrons, wasted in it's description and P R vapor-ware, of the "vapor truck".

Stan Peterson

More words written about a vehicle that if ever actually constructed, will never be produced in quantity. Its not sufficient to replace the ink, paper, and electrons, wasted in it's description and P R vapor-ware, of the "vapor truck".

Stan Peterson

More words written about a vehicle that if ever actually constructed, will never be produced in quantity. Its not sufficient to replace the ink, paper, and electrons, wasted in it's description and P R vapor-ware, of the "vapor truck".

K

dwf: what words did I use that indicate I didn't know what a series hybrid was?

dwf

If it truly is a series hybrid, then the ICE will not come on until the battery discharges below a certain level, or if additional electricity is needed for passing or hills. It will probably have mode selection options. One mode for pure electric where the ICE does not come on at all unless the battery gets below some low level like maybe 15% power. A normal mode where the ICE only comes on when the power drops below some higher level like 50 - 85%, or if extra electricity is needed. And a performance mode, where the ICE is constantly running to give maximum power for high electric loads (hauling cargo or fast acceleration). The ICE would be SMALL (just big enough to power a generator), probably flex-fuel, and since it normally won't be running all the time it can deliver very high overall gas mileage (100+ mpg?) running mostly on batteries. You can not meet everybody's needs using pure EV, so stop knocking the compromises.

dwf

K: "It probably is possible to have a small ICE w/generator carried in the truck bed."

To me, that says you didn't know a series hybrid was the same thing, just built-in elsewhere so it isn't in the way of your cargo. That, and agreeing with Richard. ;)

The ICE/Generator would probably weigh less than extra batteries and take up less room, and give a range longer than you can take in one sitting.

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