|A sketch of the AFS Trinity XH powertrain indicating a series-hybrid approach with V2G capability. Click to enlarge.|
AFS Trinity has filed a patent application describing the company’s new technology for an Extreme Hybrid (XH) flex-fuel plug-in car (earlier post) that would offer the average American driver an effective fuel economy of more than 250 miles per gallon.
The Extreme Hybrid will use a grid-charged battery combined with ultracapacitors to support an all-electric range of 40 miles per day—the daily range of the average US driver.
The US Department of Transportation estimates that the average American drives 300 miles per week. Most days Americans drive 40 miles [daily] or less. At $3 a gallon, this costs about $48 a week for a conventional 20 mpg car and $36 if the car can get 25 mpg. The most efficient conventional hybrids get about 50 mpg which means $19 a week. By comparison, the Extreme Hybrid will use less than $8 per week total for fuel and electricity.—AFS Trinity CEO Edward Furia
AFS Trinity and Ricardo have signed a mutually exclusive Technology Partnership Agreement to work together to develop plug-in hybrid technology. (Earlier post.) With sufficient funding they expect that XH demonstration vehicles could be in the hands of fleet owners in two years and could be licensed for mass production by car makers in three years.
Specs of the prototype under development with Ricardo will remain proprietary for the time being, according to Trinity, to be shared only with entities with who the partners execute an Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA).
AFS Trinity does not intend to become an automaker, but rather a licenser of the drivetrain technology. As a result, the ultimate specs of the components for series-production XH hybrids will be vehicle-specific, and thus vary.
In the patent filing, which will not become public until 5 November 2006, the company depicts a variety of configurations for its system, including, “by way of example and not as a limitation,” a series-hybrid configuration (shown in the diagram above), a parallel configuration, a four-wheel drive configuration for SUVs, a mechanical instead of “fly-by-wire” configuration, and a vehicle-to-grid subsystem.
More of those details will emerge later in the year, according to the company.