150 mpg XH-150 Hybrid SUV begins Earth Day tour
April 8, 2008
AFS Trinity Power Corporation will be taking its plug-in hybrid electric vehicle on a cross country tour beginning in today in Los Angeles and ending on Earth Day in Washington, D.C. on April 20.
The XH-150 hybrid vehicle was first seen at this year's North American International Auto Show in January, and has received much press coverage as a result of the vehicle's claimed 150 mpg capability.
Based on a modified Saturn VUE SUV, the XH-150 has the ability to drive up to 40 miles on a 200 horsepower electric motor at speeds up to 86 mph. Drivers can later push an "Extreme Hybrid" button to utilize the full 370 horsepower plug-in and gasoline hybrid system for travelling further distances.
Key to the hybrid is the two-part energy storage system featuring lithium-ion batteries used in conjunction with ultracapacitors. The capacitors have a high power density that assists greatly with the rapid acceleration and top speed experienced in the vehicle.
Essentially, a traditional high power and high energy hybrid system has to utilize bigger batteries and a larger cumbustion engine, while a system with supplemental ultracapacitors can maintain small size and higher power levels while using a more efficient gasoline engine.
The tour will make stops during its cross country trip demonstrating the hybrid SUVs features to the public and will offer the chance for interested people to test drive the new vehicle.
AFS Trinity is currently in discussions with several carmakers and independent investors regarding the possibility of implementing its hybrid system into high volume vehicles. CEO Edward W. Furia expects the system to be available on the U.S. market in two to three years.