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Raser and Tecstar Sign Agreement for Plug-In Series Hybrid Conversions

Raser Technologies, Inc. has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Tecstar, LP and Wheel to Wheel, LLC, outlining their intent to work together with Raser to manufacture plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) for utility, government, and other fleets.

Raser plans to have Tecstar convert popular SUV and light truck vehicles to plug-in series hybrid vehicles with 40-mile all electric range using Raser’s proprietary Symetron electric powertrain technology and integrated series hybrid drive system to fulfill soft orders by utility, government and other fleets.

Tecstar is a leading second-stage manufacturers and has been working with automakers to modify production line vehicles under warranty for OEM sales. Wheel to Wheel, LLC is a sister company to Tecstar and provides engineering development and prototyping support.

Tecstar has the capacity to build up to 60,000 vehicles per year at its four production plants located in Texas, Louisiana, Indiana and Ontario. Raser recently signed agreements with a leading global automobile manufacturer and a leading automotive engineering system integration partner, FEV, to develop a plug-in series hybrid SUV using Raser’s. Raser and FEV plan to demonstrate this vehicle later this year. (Earlier post.)

In addition, Raser recently signed an agreement to sell plug-in series hybrid SUVs to Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) for fleet demonstration and validation. After successful demonstration and testing with PG&E, Raser plans to sell PHEV vehicles to other fleets. (Earlier post.)

In addition to being able to drive 40 miles in all-electric mode under battery power, fleet versions of this extended range electric vehicle are expected to also offer up to 100 kW of mobile power from the built-in generator.

We anticipate that this second stage manufacturing program will become a large part of our Transportation and Industrial business segment in the coming years as we seek to fulfill the large demand for PHEV electric powertrains (expressed by fleet soft orders across the country).

—Patrick Schwartz, President of Raser Technologies.

Symetron is an umbrella label for several Raser innovations in motors and controllers that increase power, torque and efficiency. The Symetron technology, which can be applied in a range of packages, AC or DC, can deliver the high torque of a permanent magnet motor without the use of permanent magnets—in essence, enabling the production of smaller, more powerful and less expensive motors. (Earlier post.)

Both Wheel to Wheel and Tecstar were acquired by WB Automotive Holdings, Inc. in January 2008 from Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide, Inc.



Raser is getting more contracts and signing more deals which gives them more credibility. If they prove to be more cost effective than permanent magnet motors, they may have lot of customers. Costs and prices become important in a competitive environment.

John Taylor

"smaller, more powerful and less expensive motors."

These also need to be more efficient motors to achieve the range needed in Electric cars.


They are as efficient if not just a slight bit more efficient than PM motors. There is no cogging as well. One of the safety points that was made is in the case of a drive stage shorting. With PM, it could produce a large drag, almost like shutting your engine off at freeway speeds. Induction motors do not have that problem.

John H

I love that utility companies are making the switch to EV's and PHEV's, hopefully this will also cause a switch from coal to wind, solar and other renewable power production methods? Recently Jefferson County, up here in WA put into service a ZENN EV which is cool. I think all of this will help EV makers, like ZAP! ( gain significant traction in the marketplace and help us all make the transition from fossil to renewable energy! Way to go Raser!


Southern California Edison already produces 20% of their power in a renewable fashion. They have hydro, wind and lots of solar thermal electric in the Mojave desert.

I would imagine that they are proponents of PHEVs charging at night. They have a hard time handling the AC loads in the summer, but at night it is no problem. Unlike Arizona, the temperatures cool off at night enough for the cooling load to drop off enough to do some charging.




tom deplume

It isn't the price of water that matters WRT hydrogen. It takes a minimum of 40 KWH to electrolyze enough water to produce one kg of hydrogen. That is $4 worth of electricity to produce the energy equivalent of one gallon of gasoline. That is assuming a magical 100% efficient electrolyzer. A good analysis of of the physics of the the much hyped hydrogen solution would only deliver 1/4 the miles per KWH than you would get by simply charging batteries.


Raser's induction motors are not as efficient as PM motors, and a well-designed PM motor and control system will handle the loss of control or drive electronics failure without a safety problem.


A few percent here or there, there is not much difference. Under certain conditions one is preferable to the other. As far a drive control problems, you might want to look into that a bit more. This was a major issue.

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