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New EV company to commercialize Raser’s extended range electric powertrain; led by investor in Valence and EVI

Elements of Raser’s current series plug-in hybrid (extended range electric vehicle) drive system. Click to enlarge.

Raser Technologies, Inc. has finalized a transaction with a group of private investors led by California investor Carl E. Berg to form a new electric automotive company focused initially on trucks and SUVs for fleet customers.

Berg helped found Li-ion battery company Valence and has served on the board of directors since September 1991. Berg also has strategic holdings in Electric Vehicles International (EVI), a manufacturer of electric light-duty vehicles, walk-in vans and medium-duty trucks. (Earlier post.)

Berg will initially capitalize the new company with $4.5 million, of which Raser will receive $2.5 million in cash; $1.5 million was paid at closing and the remainder to be paid by 20 December 2010. The balance of $4.5 million will be used as working capital for the new company. In addition to cash, Raser receives a 39% interest in the new company and will retain the right to appoint one of the three members of the new company’s board of directors.

I am very pleased with the acquisition and the opportunity for rapid growth in the electric vehicle market based on Raser’s strategic position, orders and their E-REV truck technology. I believe that this automotive company will offer a completely new kind of work truck to help electrify the largest segment of the automobile business and convert thousands of soft orders into deliveries over the next few years.

—Carl E. Berg

In July, Raser said that it had a backlog of more than 10,000 soft orders for plug-in fleet vehicles. (Earlier post.)

In 2008, Raser, in conjunction with its systems integration partner FEV, unveiled components of its 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. In 2009, FEV showcased a range-extended electric vehicle (ReEV) HUMMER H3 done in cooperation with Raser at the World Congress. (Earlier post.)

The extended-range plug-in series hybrid architecture shown so far 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. In the HUMMER H3, the generator is driven by a GM Ecotec 2.0L SIDI turbocharged engine.

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.



Wish them well. Innovations often come from small firms. They either get bigger or sell off to larger firms when they are successful enough.


. . . Or collect cash from investers and produce press releases.

I also wish them well - we despatarely need to reduce oil imports - by yesterday.

BUT some small firm to produce another ReEV that uses yesterday's technology?

We need better batteries!


Can't agree more on the need for better batteries. Next generation secondary batteries may not be around before 2015/16 or even a few year latter. Meanwhile, gradual improvement of the Li-ion could eventually double energy density and greatly improve number of possible cycles and quick charge capability and further reduce cost below current Leaf $375/Kwh by 2015/16 or so?

Gradual improvement of ultra-caps will also take place but it is doubtful that they can match batteries energy density any time soon. ESStor ESSU's could have been a game changer, but........!

We may have to wait till 2015/2020 to see significant performance and price gain in e-storage units.


I could see using this configuration for small suburban transit buses. Here we use E450 gas guzzlers while in Europe they use sleek Mercedes.

Elkhart, Indiana was down because RVs were not selling. They could have been making smaller suburban transit buses. Just put a clutch between the alternator and motor for cruising.


Would it make more sense to make all the power units slightly smaller, but connect them all to driveline, otherwise you can only put half the avaiable power to the road.


Batteries are fairly good today, the problem is that oil is too cheap.

Have you guys seen GM's proposal to recondition lithium-ion batteries by flushing the electrolyte?.. than may come in handy for heavy duty commercial applications.


All of this interest is heating up just as gasoline is getting to about $3/gallon. I don't think this is a coincidence; $3 is the break point my figures suggested back in 2004.


Raser looks like a typical pump-and-dump scheme for gullible investors.
What happened with their so promising Symetron motor?
Nobody shows interest in it - a vaporware.
This small company is involved in motor design, in PHEV vehicles design, and in geothermal power.
Of course, the goal is to be in the field(s) of alternative energy, that's where money goes.
They trade now over-the-counter, because they stayed below $1.0 for too long on Nasdaq. Several years ago stock price went to $10.0, in 2008, then collapsed - empty promises.
They are best ignored.
This is a joke:
"In July, Raser said that it had a backlog of more than 10,000 soft orders for plug-in fleet vehicles."


Symetron is real and not vaporware, but it is not all that revolutionary either. When investors have people look into it they are impressed with the results, but not that much with the science.


You don't bolt an electric motor onto the front of an automatic transmission.... Aside from the huge power losses due to mechanical transmission energy inefficiencies, how do you regenerate through an Auto? Simple answer, you can't!

You don't bolt an electric motor onto the front of an automatic transmission
Why not? The major efficiency problem with the auto is the torque converter, which typically loses all its torque multiplication at 15% slip or so. Replace it with a wet clutch and put the motor on the transmission side.
how do you regenerate through an Auto?
Same way you do through a manual.

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