An Extreme Hybrid car, which plugs into the mains electric in your house for most of its power, is expected to give the average driver more than 250 miles per gallon. Ricardo and AFS Trinity have agreed to work together to design, test and develop the Extreme Hybrid drivetrain and build the initial systems that are expected to be licensed by AFS Trinity to car makers worldwide.
Once the Extreme Hybrid is licensed to manufacturers, Ricardo intends to provide assistance to car makers to integrate the plug-in hybrid drivetrain into their specific vehicle platforms. Ricardo and AFS Trinity have signed a mutually exclusive Technology Partnership Agreement to work together to develop the plug-in hybrid technology.
The excellent fuel economy is due to the fact that most of the time the car will burn no petrol at all – it will operate on electricity obtained from the power
grid through night-time off-peak charging, but for trips longer than 40 miles, it will operate as a conventional hybrid that uses petrol or ethanol.
Ricardo says that with sufficient funding the 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, and they could reduce fuel and operating costs by 75% without compromising performance.
In January, AFS Trinity unveiled the first 150mpg SUV prototypes, called the XH-150, and, last month, people across America, including U.S. Congressman and their staff, were given their first opportunity to drive an Extreme Hybrid. XH-150s travel up to 87 miles per hour and have a range of 40 miles in all-electric mode on an overnight charge of household current. Extreme Hybrids also accelerate faster than petrol-only versions of the same model cars.
Dave Shemmans, CEO of Ricardo plc commented: “Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles can offer the potential for fuel efficiency improvements and reduced operator running costs. If you multiply the fuel economy saving percentage by the annual fuel cost these savings can be significant.”
“Our Extreme Hybrid SUV’s travel more than 40 miles in all electric mode on an overnight charge. There are hundreds of thousands of fleet vehicles in the U.S. that travel less than 40 miles a day. On these days, Extreme Hybrid versions of these fleet vehicles will use no gasoline or diesel at all. In situations or days when longer trips are required, they can automatically switch to conventional hybrid mode and travel any distance.”
“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 petrol at all because most people drive less than 40 miles a day. 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 fuel cost problems.”
Let’s hope the production versions look better than the Concept Car.