Raser Technologies (NYSE: RZ) is developing a plug-in hybrid pickup truck, the company announced Tuesday.
Instead of being propelled using both the electric motor and internal combustion engine, such as traditional hybrids like the Toyota Prius, the truck will travel using only its electric motor, according to the announcement. The engine will use fuel to charge the motor.
Provo, Utah-based Raser claims the truck will be able to get 100 miles per gallon by replacing much of the fuel with electricity, which cuts fuel costs by up to 75 percent. The trucks will be able to drive 40 miles in all-electric mode and up to 400 miles on a full charge and a full tank of fuel.
Shares of Raser rose 8.4 percent in recent trading Tuesday to $11.70 per share.
The company said it also is nearing completion of a 100-mpg SUV demonstration vehicle using the same drive system.
The Pacific Gas & Electric Co., which in February agreed to buy two of the plug-in hybrid SUVs for testing and demonstration purposes, also plans to test one of the first Raser trucks, according to the announcement.
Others are working to bring more electrically driven trucks to the market.
Miles Electric Vehicles is selling a low-speed electric work truck, the ZX40ST, to fleets for about $18,000, while Phoenix Motorcars is taking reservations for a four-passenger half-ton pickup truck that the company in May estimated would cost about $47,000 (see Miles Sedan on Track and Electric-Vehicle Derby Still On).
For years, light-duty trucks had been the most popular vehicles sold in the United States, but truck sales have dropped dramatically as fuel prices have skyrocketed, leading to higher fleet costs, said James Spellman, vice president for transportation business development for Raser, in a written statement.
Plug-in advocates such as Spellman say the technology could reduce fuel costs, potentially reviving truck sales.