We learned of Raser Technologies' extended range electric vehicle architecture that it had developed for larger truck applications at last year's SAE World Congress. The company has received an order from Pacific Gas and Electric for two SUVs equipped with its drivetrain. PG&E becomes the first buyer of plug-in technology from Raser and will use the vehicles for evaluation and demonstration purposes. Based on the expected duty cycle for the vehicles they may achieve as much 100 mpg and cut operating costs by 75 percent. The Raser drivetrain is designed to provide 40 miles of electric range from the lithium ion battery pack before the engine starts up to maintain the battery charge.

At its initial announcement, Raser indicated that it was collaborating with an automotive OEM but has yet to reveal who that company is. However, given that renderings on the company's site and as well as a video, it seem that company might be General Motors. The video shows the first Hummer H3 test vehicle under construction with a 200 kW drive motor and an EcoTec four cylinder driving the 100 kW generator. That first prototype is expected to be road tested by the end of March.

[Source: Raser Technologies]

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