April 1, 2005 Monte Carlo is the place to be this coming weekend (April 2-6, 2005) for those interested in the future of transport. Monaco is the venue for the Electric Vehicle Symposium (EVS-21) and every major electric vehicle manufacturer on the planet will be there, with some new and exciting technologies to be showcased during the global get-together. As previously mentioned, the Venturi Fetish will be the most significant of the cars on show, being the first production electric sportscar, but one of the most significant showings will be that of Raser Technologies which will demonstrate its advanced motor and controller technology in a Formula Lightning car driven on the Grand Prix circuit.

In place of the normal three litre V10 internal combustion engines though, will be a small 150-pound Symetron electric motor about the same dimensions as the electric motor in the Toyota Prius hybrid vehicle which combines an electric motor with a combustion engine.

Raser's motor technology, however, will drive a Formula race car entirely on its own, delivering 420 ft.-lbs. of torque without the help of a combustion engine. Raser Technologies claim the motor is capable of producing 500 bhp and the demonstration will coincide with the release of performance results intended to prove Symetron to be the most powerful electric motor and controller technology available for hybrid vehicles today.

Raser VP Marketing David West commented, "This breakthrough means we have an electric motor technology powerful enough to replace the combustion engine in just about any vehicle."

Brent M. Cook, CEO of Raser Technologies, said, "Delivering this high power from the reliable and affordable AC induction platform is a significant achievement. Some hybrid automakers are considering motors that require a more expensive manufacturing process and costly rare earth materials such as neodymium. Raser's high performance is achieved by innovative design, not by adding expensive materials."

"Application of this technology will help make hybrid vehicles more affordable by reducing manufacturing costs," added D.J. Priano, sr. vice president of Raser Technologies. "The attainment of this performance level from AC induction technology also sends a powerful signal to the automobile industry that high-performance motors can be affordable.

"In addition, Symetron-enhanced motors may be brought to market faster in high volumes because they can be produced in existing AC induction manufacturing facilities," continued Priano.

The company is also planning on demonstrating the Formula car with Raser's new Symetron motor technology at the SAE World Congress in Detroit, April 11-16 and later this year on the Bonneville Salt Flats, home of most of the world’s land speed records.

Some of the other fascinating exhibits include availability of the ENV Fuel Cell Motorcycle for test rides. The Emissions Neutral Vehicle (ENV) is powered by a 6kW 48 volt motor and with energy supplied from Intelligent Energy's 1kW hydrogen fuel cell, the ENV is capable of 50mph. The ENV is covered in depth here.

View gallery - 7 images