Raser Unveils 100 MPG Hummer ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: Raser Unveils 100 MPG Hummer

Monday, April 20, 2009

Raser Unveils 100 MPG Hummer

Raser has modified a Hummer into a 100+ mpg gas sipping machine by plugging it in. The Hummer H3 is being shown off at the 2009 SAE International World Congress in Detroit, MI.

The demonstration vehicle has been modified using the Extended Range Electric Vehicle (E-REV) power train by Raser and their development partner FEV Inc. The E-REV developed in association with the Plug-in Hybrid Development Consortium. The power train was developed with larger vehicles (trucks and SUVs) in mind, unlike the development of the Volt, which has been focused on cars only.

The vehicle has "performed well in initial test drives and dynamometer testing conducted by FEV". Video from recent test drives of the 100+mpg H3 is available online: http://rasertech.com/hummer.

The range for the plug-in is about 400 miles, with 40 miles driven exclusively with the battery powered electric motor only. Like GM and their development of the Chevy Volt, the 40 miles of all electric power is the key, since most drivers wouldn't have to use gas at all on their daily drive. That leads to 100 mpg+ over time.

There is some debate about how to measure fuel economy in plug-ins. Should they be driven on their full range to see what the final number is? Should the tests emphasize the fuel economy at the beginning of the drive, when the battery is fully charged? Or should the car be driven until the battery has been fully drained and the car is driving solely on gas. Should there be a double standard, one for mostly electric drive and one for mostly gas drive?

"We chose the Hummer H3 and H3T as demonstration vehicles because trucks and SUVs are the best-selling vehicles in America and can benefit the most from increased fuel economy and reduced emissions," said Cook.

The hybrid motor consists of the 200kW advanced AC induction motor connected to a 4WD transmission. A small high efficiency EcoTech engine and a 100KW electric generator is used to recharge the battery pack while driving or to provide additional power when needed.

"Our goal was to demonstrate that electric vehicle technology is a viable solution for a variety of vehicle platforms," said Gary Rogers, president and chief executive officer of FEV. "This full-sized SUV extended-range electric vehicle shows that fuel economy in larger vehicles does not mean sacrificing power and utility."

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Anonymous said...

And now for "the rest of the story…"

How do these guys at Raser come up with their 100 MPG? Simple, they claim that if you drive 60 miles per day that the first 40 is powered by electricity and the next 20 is provided by their 33 MPG onboard engine. Therefore, only 1/3 of the distance traveled was provided by gas at 33 MPG, so it's as though you got the equivalent of 3 times 33 MPG, which equals 100 MPG.

Now let's see what Raser isn't telling you. First, their 200KW electric motor costs MONEY to operate! How much, you ask? Easy. If you drive 40 miles on electric power -- half in the city and half on the freeway -- you will spend about 1 hour driving (20 miles @ 30 MPH = 40 minutes, plus 20 miles @ 60 MPH = 20 minutes). Raser's 200KW motor is rated at 100KW continuous, so 1 hour of driving will likely consume roughly 100KWH worth of electricity (100KW times 1 hour). The average cost of electricity in the U.S. is 11.5 cents/KWH; therefore 100KWH costs you $11.50, got it? That's eleven dollars and fifty cents to go forty miles!!! Luckily, you get to go the next 20 miles on good old gasoline @ roughly 33 MPG, which would consume 6/10ths of a gallon of gas if the gas engine powered the vehicle directly. Unfortunately, it first has to power a generator, which then charges batteries, which then powers the electric motor. Still, lets be generous and assume that this gas engine takes you 20 miles on 2/3 of a gallon of gas, which costs $1.67 (2/3 times $2.50).

So the grand total to travel 60 miles in Raser's shiny EREV (Extended Range Electric Vehicle) only cost you $13.17!!! Isn't that great? Of course, you would've only spent $5.00 if you could've driven all of that distance powered by their good gas-mileage IC engine. Or you could've paid $7.50 in any vehicle that averaged 20 MPG. However, where's the fun in that? Look, you're driving a high tech "EREV"... ooooh! One that cost you an extra $25K, and that added an extra 1,000 pounds of weight to the vehicle. Nice extras, huh?? BTW, did I forget to mention that their 200KW motor only provides 134HP in continuous mode? But wait you say, it gives 268HP at peak operation. Yes, that's about what the new Ford Taurus provides (except for the Ford Taurus SHO, which gives 350HP). So you'll be riding around in your new EREV Hummer in a reduced 134-268HP powertrain... can you say "put, put, put"?

Does anyone see anything wrong with this?? Now do you see why Raser omitted mentioning the cost of electricity and only focused on their fuzzy-math MPG gas equivalent calculation? In reality, at today's prices, their Hummer only got the equivalent of 11.4 MPG ($13.17 divided by $2.5/gallon = 5.27 gallons, and 60 miles/5.27 gallons = 11.4 MPG)!!!!!!!!

The fact is that electric vehicles have NOTHING to offer in solving America's transportation needs. They are not cost-efficient nor are they technologically superior. The demand for electricity in the U.S. is expected to grow by a taxing 25% over the next decade. Raser's Hummer draws 100KWH of electricity in order to travel it's first 40 miles, which is well over 3 times the power that your house draws in a complete day! Talk about an instant energy crisis! It's a good thing that battery technology is still limited and that they added an IC engine to extend the range, otherwise their Hummer would've used 150KWH of electricity, or more than 5 times the daily draw of an average home!!

This conveniently omitted information might explain why Raser has also entered the geothermal power market… they realize that switching to EV's would require well over a 300% + increase to America's annual electric power consumption.

My question is this, why couldn't Raser be upfront and honest with us about the true costs of Electric Vehicles? Afterall, consumers have shown that they are willing to pay more for efficient green power.

Could their hesitancy in telling us the whole story be due to the fact that EV's are neither cost-efficient nor green compared to standard IC engine technology?

Mike said...

Wow, that's quite a rant. I have a couple of issues with what you have to say, though. Your estimate for the cost of electricity is way off, for instance. So is your calculation for the mpg the vehicle can get.

I don't think plug-ins are going to regularly get 100+ mpg, but I know they aren't going to get 11 mpg.

But mostly, I'm wondering why this upsets you so much.

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