SAE Congress '08: Raser shows off ER-EV powertrain for trucks, demos in Q3

We got a chance to sort of check out the Raser Technologies series hybrid/extended range EV powertrain at the SAE Congress in Detroit this week. I say sort of because what is on display are some bits and pieces that display the layout of the components in the system. Raser is currently working with an un-named vehicle manufacturer and FEV to implement the system into a full-size SUV. I spoke with Dr. Jochem Wolschendorf, CTO of FEV, about the program. According to Dr. Wolschendorf, Raser is producing the electric motors and generators for the system while FEV is handling the systems integration in the vehicle as well as the control algorithm and software development.

Raser and FEV plan to have the first prototype vehicle ready to demonstrate in the third quarter of this year installed in a full-size SUV. The standard V-8 engine in the SUV will be replaced with a smaller four cylinder engine whose sole purpose will be to drive a 100kW generator. The engine/generator will be used to charge a 27kWh Electrovaya lithium polymer battery pack when its state of charge gets too low. As with GM's E-Flex system, there is to be no mechanical connection between the internal combustion engine and the wheels. When fully charged off the grid, that pack is expected to provide up to forty miles of electric only driving range for the SUV and FEV's simulations indicate that on a mix of driving cycles, such a vehicle should be able to average somewhere around 100mpg. We'll have to wait until sometime in the second half of this year to find out what company Raser and FEV are working with and how well this thing really works. Raser does have a contract to supply two such SUVs to PG&E for their test fleet sometime toward the end of 2008.

[Source: FEV]

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