AFS Trinity Power Corporation was planning on showing its 150-mpg plug-in hybrid SUV prototype at the upcoming L.A. auto show, but due to the actions of the auto show's administration, it's decided to exhibit its XH150 SUV prototype independently while the L.A. auto show is in session. The XH150 was first shown at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January 2008, and two prototypes have been touring the country since then with positive reviews.

AFS Trinity was reportedly getting the runaround from the show owners, the Greater Los Angeles New Car Dealers Association, when AFS Trinity requested exhibition space on the main floor. The Greater Los Angeles New Car Dealers Association is closely associated with the major automakers in Detroit and only offered AFS Trinity space in the Kentia Hall basement, where there are likely to be fewer visitors than the main floor. To address AFS Trinity's visitation concerns, the administration also offered AFS Trinity advertising space in the auto show program and billboard space on the main floor of the convention center where the show was being held. However, there was a catch with the advertising.

"There was just one hitch," said Edward Furia, chairman and CEO of AFS Trinity. "Before we could proceed, the content of our ad and billboard had to be submitted to auto show management for approval. When we told them the ad and billboard content would essentially be the same as what the company has used in its Web site for the past 10 months and which we used at the Detroit auto show in January, it responded that our mileage claim of 150 mpg would not be permitted."

Furia says show management did not permit its mileage claim due to the figure not being an EPA-verified mpg number, which he recapped from an e-mail from the show's assistant general manager, Scott Webb. Furia also said a banner with a 150-mpg claim on the main floor is "likely to generate unfavorable reactions from manufacturers," per Webb's e-mail. Furia responded to the issue by stating the EPA does not certify mileage estimates on show cars or prototypes and offered to amend the billboard and ad content with the following statement: "150 mpg is an estimate, not EPA certified...your mileage may vary."

Furia's concern with the entire issue was the L.A. auto show management's final e-mail on the issue, which read: "We will not accept any billboard or program advertising that mentions AFS Trinity's 150-mpg claim, including references as part of the graphics on the vehicle. This is no longer a topic for further discussion."

One of Furia's final comments on the entire show issue was that we should be wary of sending more taxpayer bailout to Detroit when it's "reluctant to embrace solutions they didn't invent." Furia says that Detroit is raising serious questions about its own leadership's judgment, vision, intentions, and capabilities if it's willing to suppress a small company's solution to the fueling crisis that the world is currently going through. In Furia's words: "Being in the basement was bad enough. Forcing us to be silent about our key benefit was simply unacceptable."

To achieve the much higher mileage, AFS Trinity uses ultra-capacitors and proprietary control electronics to solve the power and life-cycle limitations of batteries compared with other plug-in hybrid vehicles.

The location of where the XH150 SUVs will be exhibited has not been announced yet.

Image courtesy of AFS Trinity.

Source: PR Newswire