Duncan said that PIP regards this agreement as one of the most important developments to date in the plug-in hybrid field. The AFS Trinity technology is expected to permit PHEV cars and SUVs to have the same acceleration and highway speed performance in all-electric mode (when zero fuel is used) as when they are operated as conventional hybrids. In essence, for the first 40 miles that are driven, the XH™ is expected to have all of the benefits of a fully electric vehicle—zero fuel consumption and zero emissions but with performance equal to a conventional vehicle. This is significant because a 40- mile range is adequate for the daily driving needs of 75% of American drivers. Then, as a bonus, if and when necessary, the car can be operated in hybrid mode, increasing its range to more than 450 miles.
AFS Trinity Power Corporation (AFST) is developing an Extreme Hybrid™ drive train that will enable plug-in hybrid vehicles that, in miles per petroleum gallon, are expected to be capable of of 250 MPG in a plug-in car and 150 MPG in a SUV.
The Extreme Hybrid™ Plug-in drive train is composed of five primary subsystems:
- advanced lithium batteries recharged at night with off-peak power from the grid
- ultracapacitors for acceleration and regenerative braking
- advanced power electronics and control software
- flex-fuel capable internal combustion engine
- electric traction motor and generator
The two-part energy storage system of the Extreme Hybrid combines a Lithium-ion battery pack with a bank of ultracapacitors. This “hybrid within a hybrid” energy storage system exploits the strengths of li-ion batteries (light weight and high energy density) and ultracapacitors (small size and high power density). Batteries alone, have high energy density but they must be greatly oversized in today’s hybrid vehicles to avoid deep discharges. Battery-only hybrids also require a powerful internal combustion engine for hill climbing and acceleration. The presence of ultracapacitors will enable rapid acceleration and greater regenerative braking capability than is possible with batteries alone.
The life of lithium batteries, however, is shortened by high current discharge and recharge during acceleration and braking. The presence of a high power density ultracapacitor will buffer the battery from these high current events and prolong battery life to a minimum ten year, 150,000 mile life in the EH.
Ultracapacitors with their high power density and high cycle life allows the EH to achieve top speeds and rapid acceleration in electric-only mode equal to a conventional hybrid. The EH design allows for a smaller internal combustion engine while preserving high vehicle performance. For a typical daily commute of 40 miles round trip, an Extreme Hybrid™ vehicle will not use its internal combustion engine at all.
According to AFST Li-ion battery technology has advanced dramatically over the past ten years, and this rate of advance is expected to continue, bringing it to a high stage of development by the year 2010, concurrent with the completion of development of the Extreme Hybrid™. Power Electronics prices have dropped 15% per year for a decade, and this trend is expected to continue, which will also contribute to Extreme Hybrid™ vehicle affordability in 2010. Ultracapacitor prices have dropped a factor of two every two years for the past six years, and the price drop is projected to continue through 2010 and beyond.
Austin Energy, Plug-in Partners' is a national grass-roots initiative to demonstrate to automakers that a market for flexible-fuel Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV) exists today by recruiting partners in local governments, national security organizations, utilities and civic and environmental groups. The hope is that with sufficient public interest and demand, carmakers, who have been reluctant to invest in the technology, will respond with viable, affordable products, from cars to delivery vans. Since its launch in January 2006, most of the 50 largest U.S. cities, other municipalities, many States, Councils of Governments (COGs) and over 200 of the nation's electric utilities have become participants in Plug-in Partners. These organizations are expected to issue thousands of purchase orders to lease or buy the first PHEVs for their fleets. The US Conference of Mayors and other national municipal, security, civic and environmental organizations have endorsed the PIP initiative.
AFS Trinity Power is a privately-owned Delaware corporation headquartered in Bellevue, WA, that has engaged in the development of Fast Energy Storage™ power systems for vehicular, spacecraft and stationary power systems. AFS Trinity and Ricardo, Inc. have signed a mutually exclusive Technology Partnership Agreement to develop the Extreme Hybrid™, the technology for which is the subject of ongoing U.S. and international patent filings.
Ricardo, with its North American headquarters in Van Buren Twp., Michigan, has been a world-leading vehicle system and powertrain technology provider for automotive manufacturers, heavy-duty manufacturers and tier one suppliers since 1915. AFS Trinity and Ricardo have signed a mutually exclusive three-year Technology Partnership Agreement to develop the Extreme Hybrid™ drive train. Ricardo is the world’s leading automotive engineering services firm with 1,750 consultants and engineers focusing on drive trains, engines and vehicle systems integration in the U.S., UK, Asia and Europe. A public company based in the U.K., Ricardo plc posted sales of $272 million in fiscal year 2005.
AFS TRINITY Signs Accord with Austin Energy Giving Plug-in Partners first access to AFST 250 mpg Extreme Hybrid Cars, AFST Trinity, August 15, 2005
AFS Trinity Reports Progress Toward 250 Miles per Gallon Plug-in Hybrid, AFS Trinity, January 24, 2006
AFS Trinity Power Corporation, Medina Washington