How’d you like to have a 150mpg car?

 

Like most of us aware of global warming and an oil supply that’s not unlimited — and paying more for gasoline than ever before — I’m thinking about my next vehicle. My goal is a plugin hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), but my lease runs out in November and mainstream vendors (e.g., Toyota, GM) have said it’s likely they’ll ship PHEV’s in any sort of volume “around 2010-2012.”

Though rolled out at the recent Detroit Auto Show, I began paying serious attention a month ago as I started to look for options. AFS Trinity boasts 150mpg with their innovative technology in their “Extreme Hybrid” (which is actually a gutted and outfitted Saturn VUE to prove that the tech works):

AFS Trinity Power has developed patent-pending technology that makes it possible for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles to achieve 150 MPG, go 40 miles in all-electric mode, and use gasoline for additional unlimited miles in hybrid mode.

They key to why their approach is “extreme” is the use of ultracapacitors, allowing fast charging of the Lithium Ion batteries and, most importantly, fast discharge (so you can smoke those tires from a dead stop!). Explanation of the tech here.

The bad news? This is a concept that is being pitched to automakers and they’re also disclosing that they are also 2010-ish before shipping. The good news? Maybe two more car cycles (for me, 4.5 years away) and there will be a multitude of PHEV choices.

I may have to buy a Prius in the interim.

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2 Comments

  1. Michael Long on May 20, 2008 at 11:56 pm

    I’d love to have a 150MPG car, but they’re not here yet and like you, I have to decide what I’m going to do in the meantime. The automakers should have gotten off their butts years ago, but got caught up chasing the profits in producing ever larger SUVs.

    Now we’re in a gas crunch and they’re quite literally stuck with tons of vehicles that no one wants, while people flock to smaller, more efficient Japanese cars.

    Sound familiar?



  2. Steve Borsch on May 21, 2008 at 6:40 am

    Michael: Stuns me that a company the size of GM or Ford can’t see what seems so obvious to the rest of us: oil will run out and/or be so expensive as to cause consumers to shun the behemoth gas guzzlers.

    Enjoyed last week’s BusinessWeek and the article, “GM: Live Green or Die” with this telling sentence:

    “Does GM’s CEO regret not moving faster? You bet he does. Wagoner wishes he hadn’t killed the EV1. And he acknowledges underestimating how the emergence of consumer societies in China and India would help put a $100 floor under oil prices.”

    Geez…the success of my company and livelihood isn’t tied to understanding future scenarios and even *I* could envision the need for plugin hybrids.

    Same thing will happen in robotics as many now scoff at the Japanese and, especially, the cute Honda Asimo, but when the timing is right they’ll have an insurmountable lead and decades of experience.



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