Following AFS Trinity's 150 mpg SUV's recent Earth Day Tour (and, of course, the vehicle's presence at the Detroit Auto Show), there's a bit of potential good news regarding how this vehicle might actually make it to customers' hands. Today, AFS Trinity Power Corporation and Ricardo plc announced the creation of something they're calling Extreme Fleet, which is a joint program to offer Extreme Hybrid vehicles to fleet operators. Interested operators can check out the plug-in SUV at the 2008 NAFA Institute and Expo in Salt Lake City, Utah starting Sunday. Neither company announced when the Extreme Fleet program would commence.
Remember, though, the way AFS Trinity calculates that "150 mpg" number is not how most people would figure this vehicle's mpge. Some more standard numbers are that this PHEV can go 40 miles on an overnight charge and up to 87 mph in EV mode, which are both pretty nice. More details after the jump.
AFS Trinity, Ricardo Announce Joint Extreme Fleet(TM) Program to Slash Gasoline and Diesel Use by Car, SUV and Truck Fleets
Extreme Hybrids for delivery, service fleets, law enforcement, will reduce fuel and operating costs 75% without compromising performance
SEATTLE and LONDON, May 2 /PRNewswire/ -- AFS Trinity Power Corporation and Ricardo plc today announced creation of Extreme Fleet(TM), a joint program to offer Extreme Hybrid fleet vehicles that use no gasoline at all on most days without sacrificing vehicle size or power.
Many fleet operators are expected not only to save up to 75% of what they are now paying for gasoline and diesel, but also to dramatically reduce fleet maintenance costs.
On Sunday, May 4, fleet managers from around the country will be introduced in person to the Extreme Hybrid at the 2008 NAFA Institute and Expo in Salt Lake City, Utah. On Monday, May 5, they will be able to drive the first Extreme Hybrid prototypes-two XH-150s -- as part of a NAFA Green Ride and Drive event. The XH-150 SUV is a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) capable of 40 miles on a single charge, 87 miles per hour in all-electric mode, unlimited range in mild hybrid mode, and faster acceleration than gasoline only versions of the same vehicle.
The new Extreme Fleet program will be headquartered in Bellevue, Washington, USA, with special purpose vehicle development to be conducted at AFS Trinity's engineering center in Livermore, California as well as at Ricardo facilities in the U.S., Europe and Asia.
"Our Extreme Hybrid SUV's travel more than 40 miles in all electric mode on an overnight charge. There are hundreds of thousands of fleet vehicles in the U.S. that travel less than 40 miles a day," Furia said. "On these days, Extreme Hybrid versions of these fleet vehicles will use no gasoline or diesel at all. In situations or days when longer trips are required, they can automatically switch to conventional hybrid mode and travel any distance."
Dave Shemmans, Chairman and CEO of Ricardo plc added, "Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles can offer the potential for fuel efficiency improvements and reduced operator running costs. If you multiply the fuel economy saving percentage by the annual fuel cost these savings can be significant," he said.
The Extreme Fleet program will focus on building and licensing special purpose vehicles using specially designed or existing car, truck and SUV platforms. The vehicles are expected to bear AFS Trinity trademarks -- Extreme Hybrid(TM), XH(TM) and/or "Powered by Fast Energy(TM)."
In January, AFS Trinity unveiled the first 150 mpg SUV prototypes, called the XH-150, and, last month, people across the country, including U.S. Congressmen and their staffs, were given their first opportunity to drive an Extreme Hybrid. XH-150s travel up to 87 miles per hour and have a range of 40 miles in all-electric mode on an overnight charge of household current. Extreme Hybrids also accelerate faster than gasoline-only versions of the same model cars.
"Our principal focus remains the elimination of dependence on oil and the reduction of greenhouse gases by providing consumers cars, SUVs and trucks that can go unlimited distances but, which, on many days, will use no gasoline at all because most people drive less than 40 miles a day," Furia explained. "However, since unveiling the XH-150 in January, a number of police departments, local government bodies, private fleet operators and federal agencies have approached us about applying our technology to solve their mounting gasoline cost problems."
ABOUT AFS TRINITY
AFS Trinity develops Fast Energy Storage(TM) and power systems for vehicular, spacecraft and stationary power systems utilizing batteries, ultracapacitors, and flywheels. The Company has conducted programs with private and government organizations including DARPA, NASA, the U.S. Navy, U.S. Army, U.S. DOT, California Energy Commission, Oak Ridge National Laboratories, Lawrence Livermore National Labs, Lockheed, Honeywell, Mercedes and Ricardo. AFS Trinity's patent-pending Extreme Hybrid(TM) drive train utilizes ultra-capacitors, batteries and proprietary power and control electronics for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). The company is also actively engaged in developing flywheel power systems for Formula One Racing (F1). For more information visit http://www.afstrinity.com/.
With technical centers and offices throughout Europe, the US and Asia, Ricardo is a leading independent technology provider and deep-content strategic management consultant to the world's transportation sector industries. The company's engineering expertise ranges from vehicle systems integration, controls, electronics and software development, to the latest driveline and transmission systems and gasoline, diesel, hybrid and fuel cell power train technologies. Its customers include the world's major automakers, tier 1 suppliers and leading motorsport teams. The company's skill base represents the state-of-the-art in low emissions and fuel-efficient power train technology, and can be best summarized: "Ricardo is Fuel Economy." For more information visit http://www.ricardo.com/.
Some statements in this news release are forward-looking. These statements may be identified by the use of words such as "will," "expects," "believes," "targets," "intends," and words of similar import. Actual results may vary depending on circumstances both within and outside the control of the Company including market acceptance of products, technology development cycles and other risk factors. AFS Trinity Power Corporation takes no responsibility for updating any forward-looking statements made in this release.
Extreme Hybrid(TM), ExtremeFleet(TM), XH(TM), XH-150(TM), XH-250(TM), Fast Energy(TM), Fast Energy Storage(TM), Just Plug It In(TM), Powered by Fast Energy(TM) are trademarks pending of AFS Trinity Power Corporation. Patents Pending. All Rights Reserved. (C) 2008 AFS Trinity Power Corporation.
[Source: AFS Trinity Power Corporation]