|Elements of the Extreme Hybrid. Click to enlarge.|
AFS Trinity Power Corporation and Ricardo plc are introducing “Extreme Fleet”, a joint program to build and license special purpose vehicles using specially designed or existing car, truck and SUV platforms using AFS Trinity’s Extreme Hybrid plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) powertrain.
The partners say that many fleet operators could save up to 75% of what they are now paying for gasoline and diesel, and reduce fleet maintenance costs. AFS Trinity is bringing its XH-150 prototype to the 2008 NAFA (National Association of Fleet Administrators) Institute and Expo in Salt Lake City that begins on 4 May.
Unveiled in January at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, the XH-150 demonstrator is a stock 2007 Saturn Vue Greenline mild hybrid subsequently equipped with the Extreme Hybrid (XH) drivetrain. As a demonstrator, the vehicle retains the entire original Vue hybrid powertrain plus the XH system—in other words, it has two transmissions (one for the engine, one for the motor) and two discrete energy storage systems (OEM NiMH from the Vue and a combined ultracap/Li-ion system for the XH). (Earlier post.)
The demonstrator vehicle unveiled at the Detroit show was one of two developed by AFS Trinity and built by Ricardo under contract that were ready for testing in just five months.
The Extreme Hybrid Plug-in drive train comprises five primary subsystems:
- Grid-chargeable lithium-ion battery pack;
- Ultracapacitors for acceleration and regenerative braking;
- Advanced power electronics and control software;
- Internal combustion engine;
- Electric traction motor and generator.
The vehicle has three operating modes:
All-electric with 40+ mile range;
OEM Vue mild hybrid operation; and
Combined full parallel through-the-road hybrid mode. This combined mode—with the 170 hp OEM engine and the 200 hp XH motor for 370 hp combined—allows the XH-150, which weights 1,000 lbs more than the stock Vue, to accelerate from 0-60 in 6.9 seconds.
AFS Trinity built the demonstrator as a proof of concept of its combined energy storage system and management approach to address the limitations of battery storage. By using ultracapacitors as storage and discharge devices for rapid energy, the XH system keeps the batteries within safe resistive heating limits, and supports extended battery life.
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. 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.—AFS Trinity CEO Edward Furia
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 US, Europe and Asia.
AFS Trinity develops Fast Energy Storage and power systems for vehicular, spacecraft and stationary power systems utilizing batteries, ultracapacitors, and flywheels. AFS Trinity’s patent-pending Extreme Hybrid 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).