Pick up trucks seem to be vehicles that are ripe for fuel economy improvements. GM didn't do so bad with 40 percent city-driving gains made with their Silverado dual-mode hybrid but it's a far cry from what Hybrid Electric Vehicle Technologies (HEVT) has achieved with an ordinary Ford F-150. The Progressive X-Prize entrant has taken the plug-in path and produced a prototype that can go 15 miles on only electricity, get 41 mpg over a 30 mile distance and 21 mpg after that. Considering the vehicle they started with only got 16 mpg, we're impressed. Their alterations also give the truck more low-speed torque, V2G capability and 120V power availability. Pretty sweet!

They say the system can also be scaled for F-250s and F-350s. Heck, they're even working on slapping it into a school bus! This isn't just some shade-tree contraption either but rather the product of an early-stage technology venture developed under the watchful eye of Professor Ali Emadi at the Illinois Institute of Technology. HEVT has just unveiled their creation at the Plug-In 2008 Conference and Exposition in San Jose but if you couldn't make it to that event, we have not only a super video, but also a detailed press release after the jump.

[Source: Youtube / HEVT]

Press Release

Hybrid Electric Vehicle Technologies, Inc. Unveils World's First Plug-in Hybrid Ford F-150 Pickup
Chicago Company Showcases Plug-in Hybrid Electric Conversion Kits Adaptable to Most Vehicles

San Jose, July 22, 2008 – Hybrid Electric Vehicle Technologies, Inc. (HEVT) unveiled the world's first plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) version of the popular Ford F-150 pickup truck at Plug-In 2008 Conference and Exposition, the first international plug-in conference and expo. Converted with a proprietary adaptive controller and using a scaled-down version of the proprietary drive train HEVT has designed for transit buses, the F-150 has been transformed from a standard combustion engine vehicle getting about 16 MPG to a PHEV getting up to 41 MPG for a typical day's driving. The HEVT prototype was displayed during today's keynote address by Dr. Andrew S. Grove, former chairman of Intel Corporation. "Trucks, SUVs and vans are the least-efficient vehicles on the road, so retrofitting them should be a high priority if we want to make a meaningful, near-term difference in oil consumption. Rapid commercialization of prototypes like HEVT's is the way to go," Dr. Grove said. The prototype shows how HEVT's plug-in hybrid drive train technology can retrofit existing PSVs (pickups, SUVs, and vans), to displace gasoline with electricity, cutting operating costs and harmful emissions and boosting performance. This is an important step toward energy security, because it reduces the fuel required to operate trucks and other large vehicles. "One way to reduce fossil fuel use is to find ways to plug in some of the hundreds of millions of internal combustion engines already on the world's roads," said CalCars founder Felix Kramer. "The pioneering PHEV designs for trucks and buses from Dr. Ali Emadi and his team at HEVT are especially promising." Engineers at HEVT have developed a sophisticated electronics and software system called the Adaptive Control Unit (ACU) which serves to control the hybrid drive train. While driving, the ACU controls use of the electric motor and gasoline engine to optimize fuel economy and performance. An in-dash display unit monitors performance, indicating the charge remaining in the battery pack and the energy recovered through regenerative -braking. "HEVT's solutions apply to not just smaller passenger cars and hybrids, but almost any vehicle including larger gas guzzlers," said HEVT founder Ali Emadi. "Our laboratory simulations show that the larger the vehicle, the greater the benefits – in gas costs, particulate and greenhouse emissions, and sound pollution. For this reason we are currently focused on PSVs and will later expand to school buses as well as transit buses." HEVT will begin with a small pilot program of Ford F-150 pickup truck conversions available to organizations and individuals on a custom basis. The pilot program will help HEVT's continued development and optimization, pushing conversion costs down and lowering lifetime cost of ownership for converted vehicles. # # # # # Hybrid Electric Vehicle Technologies, Inc. (HEVT) is an early-stage technology venture specializing in design and development of hybrid and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle controllers, drive trains, and conversions. HEVT's mission is to lead the way toward sustainable transportation by providing innovative hybrid drive trains, adaptive controllers, and integrated motor differentials for pickup trucks, SUVs, vans, school buses, and transit buses. HEVT's solutions address rising fuel costs, global warming, harmful emissions, and sound pollution. Located at the University Tech Park on Illinois Institute of Technology's main campus in Chicago, HEVT has exclusive rights to the intellectual property, patents, and patents-pending covering this revolutionary technology developed by Professor Ali Emadi and his research laboratory at IIT, one of the world's leading teams specializing in power electronics and motor drives for automotive systems. University Technology Park at IIT is an entrepreneurial ecosystem designed to nurture a wide range of technological and scientific innovation with the support of the talent and resources available at IIT. The Technology Business Center and Incubator make UTP one of the premier technology parks in the country, serving technology-based companies in the early product- and customer-development stages that require lab and/or office space as well as convenient access to business development, university-based services, and highly-qualified student researchers. UTP is located at 3440 S. Dearborn in Chicago, 4 miles south of Chicago's Loop, and will eventually consist of 9 buildings with 1.5 million square feet of state-of-the-art space on 15 acres.

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