Consortium To Develop Next-Gen Hybrid Vehicle - InformationWeek

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Consortium To Develop Next-Gen Hybrid Vehicle

Four technology companies will work with participating auto makers to research and develop components and other pieces of hybrid electric vehicles.

SAN FRANCISCO — Provo, Utah-based Raser Technologies Inc., a developer of electric motor technology, said Tuesday (Aug. 30) that it has joined with three other companies to create a cooperative research and development consortium to work toward the development of the next generation of hybrid electric vehicles.

According to Raser, the Advanced Hybrid Vehicle Development Consortium will be made up of component suppliers that will work with participating automobile manufacturers to develop components and technologies for an electric motor dominant, plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.

Raser said the consortium participants would develop a working proof-of-concept passenger plug-in hybrid electric vehicle that may achieve up to 100-200 miles-per-gallon by operating in all electric, zero-emission mode for the first 20-50 miles.

This "dual mode" hybrid vehicle could then continue to operate in a high-efficiency hybrid electric mode to achieve conventional range of operation, according to Raser.

Raser's partners in the consortium thus far are San Diego-based energy storage and power delivery solutions provider Maxwell Technologies, Toronto-based mobile power technology provider Electrovaya Inc. and an unnamed San Francisco-based gas and utility company.

In a statement issued by Raser Tuesday, the utility was described only as "one of the nation's leading electric and gas utility companies based in San Francisco." Calls to Raser seeking clarification were not immediately returned. Pacific Gas and Electric Co., one of the largest utilities in the U.S., is headquartered in San Francisco.

Raser's statement also quoted U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch as saying, "This consortium will help American automakers become more competitive by accelerating the development of new technologies necessary for the next generation of hybrid vehicles."

Raser CEO Brent Cook said, "In order to achieve the objectives automakers are striving for with hybrid vehicles, the electric motor has to play a dominant role in reducing emissions and improving fuel economy beyond what we now have. By working together, we can help reduce the R&D gap between advanced component suppliers and the OEMs to accelerate vital new technologies to market by demonstrating their readiness in the next generation hybrid vehicles."

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