AFS Trinity Signs Accord with Austin Energy; Plug-in Partners to Have First Access to Extreme Hybrid Plug-Ins
AFS Trinity has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Austin Energy that will give the participating fleets in the Plug-in Partners (PIP) consortium first access to the AFS Trinity Extreme Hybrid plug-in currently under development.
The AFS Trinity XH hybrid is being designed to offer a full all-electric 40-mile range with the same acceleration and highway speed performance as when operated as a conventional hybrid. In May, AFS Trinity announced it had filed a patent on the Extreme Hybrid drive train, which it is developing in partnership with Ricardo. (Earlier post.)
We took a big step today. The deal we signed today gives PIP participants the opportunity to be among the first to order AFS Trinity Extreme Hybrid vehicles. PIP’s job is to encourage our members to lease these vehicles. AFS Trinity’s job is to complete development of the prototype and involve an automotive OEM as a development partner. All of these things must be accomplished for the agreement to work.—Roger Duncan, the Deputy General Manager of Austin Energy
Duncan said that PIP regards this agreement as one of the most important developments to date in the plug-in hybrid field. The promised 40-mile all electric range of the AFS Trinity vehicle would be adequate for the daily driving needs of 75% of American drivers. If and when necessary, the car can be operated in hybrid mode, increasing its range to more than 450 miles.
This agreement is important not just as a validation of our technology but also as a clear path toward its commercialization. We have been talking with carmaker OEMs in the U.S. and in three other countries for several months. Once we complete an agreement with one or more of them, we will be able to specify the model and price of the vehicles we can offer to PIP participants.—Edward Furia, AFS Trinity CEO
Launched by the city of Austin, Texas, and its municipally-owned and operated electric utility, Austin Energy, Plug-in Partners’goal is to demonstrate to automakers that a market exists for plug-in hybrid vehicles by recruiting partners in local governments, national security organizations, utilities and civic and environmental groups.
Since its launch in January 2006, most of the 50 largest U.S. cities, other municipalities, many States, Councils of Governments (COGs) and more than 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.