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Raser to Unveil Plug-in Series Hybrid Drive System for Full-Size SUVs and Pickups at SAE World Congress

Raser Technologies, Inc., in conjunction with its systems integration partner FEV, will unveil components of a new extended-range plug-in series hybrid electric vehicle powertrain and integrated drive system designed for full-size SUVs and pickup trucks at the SAE World Congress, 14-17 April, in Detroit, Michigan.

The extended-range plug-in series hybrid architecture integrates Raser’s Symetron technology in a 200 kW peak, 100 kW continuous AC induction motor and power electronic traction drive; and a 100 kW PM synchronous generating system with a 700V lithium-ion battery pack and power management system.

A full-size plug-in series hybrid SUV with this new powertrain is designed to drive 40 miles in all-electric mode under battery power, with near zero emissions. Fleet versions of this extended range electric vehicle are expected to offer up to 50 kW of exportable power from the onboard generator.

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.

Raser introduced a 100kW AC induction-based electric motor, the P-100, at EVS-22 in Japan in 2006. (Earlier post.)

In February, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) entered into an agreement with Raser Technologies, Inc. for the purchase and demonstration of two of the plug-in series hybrid electric sport utility vehicles (SUVs). (Earlier post.)


Harvey D

If a rather small company like Raser can do it, why are the Big Three +++ dragging their feet on Plug-in (PHEVs) with lithium batteries?

One would think that major car manufacturers with all their resources and engineering facilities should be years ahead.

What is holding them back?


Big companies are quite content to let smaller companies take all the initial risk. If the PHEV SUV they make sells well, you can expect that GM, Toyota, and everyone else will quickly jump on the bandwagon.


"What is holding them back?"
don't confuse what is the best interest of the Big Three +++ with what is the best interest of the customer.


100kW continuous? That will generate a seriously huge amount of torque.

Healthy Breaze

"Hybrid SUV" seems to me to run into a disconnect in the market. A few years ago, I toyed with the idea of a healthfood pizza. After some tasty and not-so-tasty experimentation, I realized what people like most about pizza is generally what makes it unhealthy. What people like most about SUVs (excessive size, mass and torque) are generally what makes SUVs lousy for the environment.

Harvey D

Healthy Breeze:

Behavior can change.

Look at what happened to smoking in the last 20 years.

Look at what is happening to incadescent light bulbs. Sales are to be banned shortly in many countries.

Couldn't the same thing happen to 2 - 3 tonnes ICE gas guzzling monsters 20 years from now?


This seems like a proof of concept to promote their products. Unless they plan to retrofit existing vehicles or make their own, they are trying to get a car maker to become interested enough to use them as a component supplier.

Whether it is Prius or Escape hybrid, many car makers buy components from other companies. You usually do not hear about them and you probably have never heard about them, but they keep things going in the car world.

Fred Linn

"What is holding them back?"

It is a social phenomenon. The larger any organization becomes, the greater the losses percieved are for any given action. As size increases, so does command and control authority levels, and any decisions become increasing subject to verification and OK at their level. The more levels there are, the more tendency there is to maintain the status quo---to err on the side of safty, "Don't rock the boat." becomes more and more the guiding principle as each level manager becomes more and more reluctant to strike out on new ventures due to percieved risk. The bigger the ship, the harder it is to turn.

We have some awfully big ships---don't expect to see much in the way of evasive manuevering in the war to change energy production and use. It is the small companies like Rasar that have the capacity to change things---but to do that they need support.

If you believe what Rasar is doing is a good thing, then what needs to happen is for people to buy stock in Rasar to give them the resources to persue their technology. If you really want to see it happen, then buy whatever stock you can in that company. It is a risk, but do your research and if it looks promising, then invest in it. If it succeeds, then you get rich.

Breaking The Chains


Unless they are issuing new stock, you are just buying the existing stock from someone at a higher price and making them rich. If they issued bonds, then the money would go to the company for expansion and development.

Harvey D


You are probably correct about the Big Three +++ and their immobilism. We are also to blame for buying their outdated re-shuffled products.

Fortunately, there are still many large pro-active compagnies around. Apple, Intel, GE, LG, Toshiba, Tata, Bombadier any many others regularly come out with new worthwhile products. Many battery and ESSU makers will hopefully be in that category soon.


I dont understand you guys, here is an plug in hybrid for a class of cars that desperately need them.. and instead of jumping for joy is all doom and gloom.

Bunch of liberal green weenies!

The 50kw generator will come in handy for contractors, emergency workers etc.. just the kind of people that need this kind of vehicle. Not everyone can drive a Prius.


It is not optimism nor pessimism nor calling people names. It is an accurate realistic analysis of this news release.
Raser is making motors that can be used in hybrid vehicles. This is good for Green Cars. What may not be good is the lack of funding for dozens of other companies that want to help too. These may be companies that do not even exist yet and probably never will exist because there is no funding for them to even get started.

If you have watched Raser, you will see a history of them trying to get enough funding to stay alive and trying to sell their products to anyone that will buy them. This may be survival of the fittest or just survival of the richest, but it does not produce lots of products from many companies in a short period to address the problem. I advocate a better funding mechanism for companies like this that make good products that can help us all. The invisible hand of the free market does not seem to do a very good job in these cases.

Harvey D


Most of the time, those so called 4 x 4, not so light trucks and large heavy VUS, are used by a single driver to go to work or even to drive to the local store to buy cigarettes or to the local bar for a beer or two or something similar. Have a look a shopping center parking lot and you will see many 110-120 lbs ladies with those 2 1/2-Ton VUS. Why do you need a 5000 lbs vehicle to go buy a pair of shoes or window shopping.

Most, if not all those trips, could be carried out, just as fast, with a Prius and/or a much smaller vehicle.

With a few exceptions, it is much more a question of acquired behavior (or an addiction to BIGGIES) than a neccessity.


Sure the Tahoe hybrid may be for the manly men, but at $50,000+ each, they need to be rich manly men. I have not heard how many guys that buy $20k pickups would pay $30k to get an extra 3 mpg. Let's see how many buy the Tahoe hybrid before we say that adding this to large SUVs is the way to go, because not everyone wants to drive a Prius.



Most "manly men" buying full-size pickups as commuter vehicles (not as work vehicles) are optioning them with so much extras I bet the average transaction price of a full size truck for personal use is north of $30,000.

Base model F-150 with supercab, 4x4, 6.5' bed, standard 4.6L V-8, CD player,



Most "manly men" buying full-size pickups as commuter vehicles (not as work vehicles) are optioning them with so much extras I bet the average transaction price of a full size truck for personal use is north of $30,000.

Base model F-150 with supercab, 4x4, 6.5' bed, standard 4.6L V-8, CD player, floor mats, cruise control and no other options already hit nearly $29,000. Sure there are probably incentives and at the same time people probably take a ton of options to get those incentives.


Let people drive whatever they want to drive, even if they weigh 200lbs. Unless you live in China or Cuba, then you have no choice..

What is preferable?.. a Ford Expedition with a large V8 that gets 12mpg or an electric version of the same with a 40 mile electric range?


A ford expedition that gets 12mpg, driving 40 miles everyday would consume $4800 per year in gas at $4 per gallon.. it would not take long to pay for batteries at that rate. Dont do the math for a Prius :)

Electrics are the salvation of the large SUV.. Rejoice!


and let me add that large SUVs are finally what will bring us electric cars..


Some have suvs simply because they do more and thus make a great second car. Othwea so it bwcause commuting is far less stressful and painful in one. Others do it because they have the money and like the drive feel.
Many older mothers sjop using suvs vecause its far kindwe to older backs.

I know a few who commutr via suv and all do it because it not only massivelt reduces stress and backpain but it also is far safer and we all have had friends in smaller cars get perm disabled because of unsafe 18 wheeler /masses of commuter cars all crowding freeways that are far too narrow to handle the loads the CITIES place on them.


They call this extended range which is almost like range extender. They do not say if it is a series, parallel or both. Let's say this is the Volt of SUVs and pickup trucks and is a series hybrid. They do not state the ICE used or what kind of mileage, just that it is a PHEV and not an EV.

In that case, you would have to talk to people that buy large SUVs and pickups and ask them if 40 miles would be enough. I would imagine their next question is, what happens after 40 miles and what kind of mileage does it get then?

hampden wireless

The GM full size hybrid may seem expensive but it really increases the city mpg and can pay for itself within four years. I don't like big SUV's but GM's approach does make sense.

Also while I would never buy a 'loaded' vehicle many SUV buyers are already buying loaded versions with EVERY option. The hybrid is just another option and many will pick it for status.


I'm not picking on you but you have hit one of my pet peeves "Base model F-150 with supercab, 4x4, 6.5' bed, standard 4.6L V-8"
This is not a TRUCK to me. If it doesn't have an 8' bed it's a toy. A truck must be able to handle 8x10 sheets of wallboard, Sheetrock, plywood, etc. It must be able to carry standard 10 or 12 foot lengths of lumber or pipe without excessive overhang. And if it can't carry at least twenty bags of gravel, fertilizer, mulch or what have you then its a Tonka toy not a truck. Drives me nuts all these people that buy shortbox beds. I might need to drive it to the corner store to pick up milk and bread, but that's only because I can only afford two cars and not three, and one of them has to be a truck, a real truck.
Sorry about ranting but calling those things, trucks always ticks me off, stupid short box, worthless, useless, .....

Edward Ellyatt

I work with 4 other Guys who own full size pickup trucks and one who owns a fulls size SUV out of 9 employees. None of these guys need an obese vehicle but they all drive em. If the large auto makers don't get to improving the fuel economy of large vehicles we will never reduce our oil consumption. Hybrid, electric whatever it takes those who don't feel they can go smaller must have options in the future.. TED


This is an attempt to get you to spend more for your new vehicle It called price increase for fuel increase which is minaml at best. There are small companies that can't get the changes in goverment to market there product that will increase fuel econemy on any vehicle old or new just by replacing the cat converter with a new device that will extend fuel econemy to as much a 100 miles per gal. An yes the product has tested and proves it meet these advertised requirements. Well the gov itself stand in the way of this process and yes they do know about this.

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