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FEV Showcased Partner and Internal Advanced Hybrid Development Projects at SAE World Congress; Demonstrations of Capability

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger dropped by the FEV booth to see the H3 ReEV after his remarks at the SAE 2009 World Congress opening ceremony. Click to enlarge.

At SAE 2009 World Congress, FEV showcased two advanced hybrid development projects it undertook with partners—the range-extended electric vehicle (ReEV) HUMMER H3 done in cooperation with Raser and a heavy-duty series hydraulic hybrid yard hostler done in partnership with EPA—as well as two internal hybrid development projects: a Dodge Caliber-based range-extended electric vehicle, and a small Wankel-based 18 kWe APU that could, for example, also be used as the genset in the Caliber.

FEV, a powertrain and engineering company, works closely with OEMs on a variety of projects—many of which it has to keep confidential. That can make it a bit tough to drum up new business, said David Gian, FEV Chief Engineer, Vehicle Integration “when your prospective customer asks ‘What have you done?’ and you have to say ‘I can’t tell you.’” With its ongoing push to be fully capable in transmission and driveline design, development, and testing, FEV decided to produce a couple of demonstrations of capability (the Caliber and the Wankel APU) that prospects could see and drive.

HUMMER H3 ReEV. The HUMMER H3 was commissioned by Raser (earlier post) as part of its lead role in the Plug-in Hybrid Development Consortium, formed in 2005. (Earlier post.) FEV performed the full vehicle integration of the concept.

Raser’s intention is to commercialize the ReEV drivetrain and vehicles, said David West, Vice President of Marketing for Raser. Pcific Gas & Electric will buy two this year (earlier post), and West said that they have some 12,000 soft orders from utilities for a truck version of the H3 ReEV drivetrain (e.g., HUMMER HUT or Chevy Silverado), and expects to have 2,000 units in utility fleets by the end of next year. (Earlier post.)

Propulsion comes from a 200 kW Raser Symetron traction motor mated to a 4–speed automatic transmission. A 100 kW Rase Symetron generator, driven by a GM Ecotec 2.0L SIDI turbocharged engine provides electrical power.

A liquid-cooled, 41 kWh lithium-ion battery pack operates at 700V and provides the energy storage. The pack in the demonstration vehicle comes from Electrovaya. For the upcoming production versions, Raser is considering other pack suppliers, including A123Systems which is a member of the coalition, as well as others, West said.

The Raser Technologies scalable plug-in series hybrid design in the Hummer H3 provides 40+ miles all-electric range. Acceleration from 0-60 mph takes less than 9 seconds.

FEV’s responsibilities in the project included:

  • Supported performance simulation
  • Powertrain and electrical packaging
  • Component, system and controller integration
  • System architecture development and integration
  • Hybrid controller development
  • Vehicle build
  • Supported battery development
  • Developmental vehicle testing and validation

Caliber ReEV. FEV’s internal development project converting a Dodge Caliber to a full ReEV was designed to demonstrate its full spectrum of capabilities in hybrid engineering.

The ReEV propulsion system was developed entirely by FEV, including:

  • Performance modeling and simulations
  • Component selection and procurement
  • Design, analysis and packaging
  • High Voltage system architecture, development and integration
  • Hybrid controls and powertrain development and testing
  • Complete vehicle integration
  • Vehicle exhaust and evaporative emission calibration
  • Overall vehicle calibration, testing and validation
  • NVH optimization

The Caliber ReEV propulsion system employs a 1.0L, 3-cylinder, 4 valve engine that is mated to a UQM PP75 generator that provides 41 kW of continuous power in extended-range mode, with a peak power of 75kW. The energy storage system consists of a 20 kWh liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery pack that operates at 346V, with a Delphi DC/DC converter. A UQM PP125EX traction motor powers the wheels.

The Caliber ReEv accelerates from 0-60 mph in 8.3 seconds and has a tope speed of 84 mph.

Wankel-based APU for range-extended electric vehicle. To illustrate another possible approach to a ReEV, FEV designed the small Wankel-based APU. The 295cc Wankel genset, fueled by gasoline or LPG, delivers 18 kW of electric power output. The APU could be dropped into the Caliber ReEV, Gian said, albeit with a change in battery and genset operating strategy.

The project allowed FEV to highlight a number of capabilities:

  • Benchmarking and target setting
  • Concept layout and development
  • Simulation of system
  • Development and optimization of operational strategies (i.e., to account for the smaller genset)
  • Genset testing in hybrid powertrain testcells
  • Vehicle integration and validation

Hydraulic Hybrid. In addition to the ReEV and related projects, FEV had on display the heavy-duty hybrid hydraulic yard hostler it is developing in partnership with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), APM Terminals, Parker-Hannifin, Kalmar Industries, R.H. Sheppard, Inc., Webasto, Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, and New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. (Earlier post.)

Specific benefits of the hydraulic hybrid system include an improvement in fuel efficiency of 50 - 60% with a concomitant reduction in CO2 and reduced maintenance costs on engine, starter and brakes.

FEV integrated the hydraulic hybrid system capable of hauling two loaded twenty-foot containers at maximum speed of 25 mph. FEV performed the following:

  • Design, analysis, simulation and fabrication of hydraulic drive unit (frame mounted end-to-end unit) from a clean sheet of paper
  • Vehicle integration and build of hydraulic systems

This hydraulic hybrid technology can be applied to light-duty trucks, SUVs and heavy-duty urban vehicles such as city transit buses and refuse trucks.



41 kWh lithium-ion battery pack....

That seems a bit hefty for an H3 EV, but whatever. I like the idea of using the Solstice 2L engine, the big alternator and motor. Next you have to ask how much does this cost. If it doubles the price of the H3 to over $60k, will many buy it. Who knows?

Andrey Levin

Wankel-based range extender for BEV or series PHEV is brilliant concept, IMO.


I thought it was too. Not that it matters, but Neil Young's designers chose a Wankel for their prime mover in the genset on his 1959 Lincoln range extended hybrid "LincVolt". I thought it was a good choice then.

Henry Gibson

FEV was associated with the OPOC engine as a range extender in military vehicles. OPOC still seems to be a good choice.

Hydraulic hybrids don't receive much attention lately but the UPS truck has not generated any negative press. It is amusing that NOAX is not promoting its free piston engine for its hydraulic hybrid.

Symetron drive may make the cost of electric drives more affordable. Raser is trying to make its money in geothermal, but they paid for the symetron inventor. The motor may make more sense in factories. They even had a symetron snowmobile.

The need for liquid cooling of the batteries, should encourage people to try out the well tested production ZEBRA battery which may be more available because of TH!NK's situation. General Electric was very happy with the ZEBRA in their hybrid locomotives and trucks except for the price. The price should come down with large scale production. The ZEBRA runs so hot in its insulated case that hot air cooling is adequate for all climates, but hot oil could be used.

The price of a lithium battery system will never be any lower than a ZEBRA, but ZEBRA is a long tested system as well. The hybrid concept makes the battey cost less important because the battery can always be smaller.

Parry People Movers is finishing up its two new flywheel hydraulic hybrid rail vehicles for revenue service. They will use far less fuel than the standard rail vehicles now being used. Any passenger rail operations, from streetcar to light rail to commuter, should consider such vehicles for some services or hours. ..HG..


I looked up OPOC engines and came up with this video.

It shows a see through model at a trade show. Quite a unique and interesting design. Lots of power for the weight and size.

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