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Raser Provides Update on PHEV Project; Road Testing to Begin By the End of March

Shot of the Raser PHEV powertrain. Click to enlarge.

Raser Technologies is tracking to begin road testing of its prototype plug-in series hybrid electric vehicle powertrain for full-size SUVs and pickups (earlier post) by the end of March, according to a video update on the development status.

The four-wheel drive electric drive powertrain combines a four-cylinder genset with a Raser 100 kW permanent magnet generator and a 200 kW AC induction traction drive motor. The electric motor is connected directly to the transmission.

The vehicle is designed to operate at about 625 volts. Belt-driven systems (such as dual air conditioning compressors) have been converted to electric power. A DC to DC convertor accomodates lower voltage electric accessories.

The lithium-ion battery packs are mounted between frame rails at the rear of the vehicle. The prototype offers a choice of either 110V or 220V charging outlets

One of the biggest challenges has been the new lithium-ion battery packs. We, like several automakers, have been delayed by lithium-ion battery suppliers, who have been working through the issues including packaging and battery management systems.

We have tested our motor, generator and dual drive controller in the lab, and now they are running in the vehicle, where we have tested at speeds up to 90 mph on the lift.

The majority of final work to complete will be refining the software for the hybrid master control logic and vehicle systems communications for smooth, safe and efficient road operations.

—Jim Spellman, Raser VP Business Development - Transportation



The video is great. Also good to see that they work on a series PHEV for full size SUVs and trucks. This is the market segment that in my opinion stands the best chance of succeeding to convince an important quantity of customers to pay a premium for green vehicles. Less affluent people do not pay $10,000 to $30,000 premiums to drive green. Raser is probably the first to enter this segment. People like Gore, Arnold and Obama kind of have to drive such a vehicle if they were available regardless of the price premium. With a premium of $10,000 to $30,000 they could sell many thousands from the first year in production.


Very impressive. It'll be interesting to see how the field tests turn out.

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