Provo, Utah based Razor Technologies announced that it has a prototype pickup truck or SUV (they won’t reveal until later this month) with a unique drive-train that includes an electric motor, batteries, generator and efficient 2.2 liter four-cylinder petroleum-fueled, internal combustion engine.
According to an article I found in The Salt Lake Tribune, Razor Technologies is a successful geothermal electricity generating company that has had its eye on creating super-efficient and fully capable full-sized vehicles for at least 6 years. This newest project will be revealed at the 2009 Society of Automotive Engineers World Congress in Detroit.
In a nutshell, the 5700 pound fully-functional, four-wheel-drive truck is powered with an electric motor that draws energy from a pack of lithium ion batteries and/or the engine-driven generator. The truck has a top speed of 100 miles per hour and can go for 40 miles on batteries alone. But when the system kicks over to generator mode, sustained performance can hit 100 miles-per-gallon of petroleum, under ideal conditions. Overall fuel economy is reported to be 26 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway with a real-world range of 360 miles for each fill of its 12-gallon tank.
I have to say, this new concept really impresses me. It proves that we don’t need to sacrifice power and size for efficiency. And that is good news for farmers and ranchers all over this country. The only question that remains is whether such vehicles will ever become affordable. My fingers are certainly crossed.
Hank Will raises hair sheep, heritage cattle and many varieties of open-pollinated corn with his wife, Karen, on their rural Osage County, Kansas farm. His home life is a perfect complement to his professional life as editor in chief at GRIT and Capper's Farmer magazines. Connect with him on Google+.
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