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.