Last April, a company called Raser Technologies brought a new truck based electric vehicle to the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Conference in Detroit. According to Raser, the platform could be easily adapted for almost any light truck and would return somewhere in the realm of 100mpg all told. Needless to say, many people were interested to hear more.
The project was a joint effort between Raser Technologies, who specialize in alternative energy systems, and FEV Global, who deal primarily with automotive technologies. The system itself is an extended range electric hybrid drivetrain that can travel up to 40 miles on all electric power. Once the Lithium Ion batteries are drained, a small combustion engine will provide some power to keep you moving.
Sometime at the beginning of the year, Pacific Gas and Electric ordered two units for testing and has since been running a gauntlet of tests on the EVs to see how well the drivetrain will hold up to daily use. No problems have been reported as of yet.
For this year's SAE Conference, set to kick off in a few days, Raser is expected to have a slightly more refined version of the Light Truck conversion kit. More details should be available within a week or so.Auto Blog Green