Gallery: TRANSPORTATION TUESDAY: World’s First Zero-Cost Hybrid!

AFS Trinity XH150

What if instead of leaking value left and right your car actually paid for itself over time? The AFS Trinity Power Corporation recently debuted just such a vehicle, dubbed the XH150. The “Extreme Hybrid SUV” has been lauded as the world’s first “zero-cost” hybrid because of a patent-pending technology that allows it to go all-electric for the first 40 miles, at which point it switches to gas with an incredible road-tested mileage of 150 MPG. Calculations based on projected energy savings show that it’s possible to recoup the hybrid’s $40,000 cost after 3-5 years!

All of these environmental and economic benefits are balanced by the XH150’s incredible performance. The 370 horsepower plug-in hybrid was built from a 2007 Saturn Vue with off-the shelf components over the course of 6 months. In electric mode, the XH150 actually beat out it’s gas guzzling predecessor with a 0-60 speed of 11.6 seconds compared to 12.5 seconds. In hybrid mode, the XH150 clocked a smoking 0-60 speed that rivals many sports cars: 6.9 seconds.

The heart of the XH150 is a dual energy storage system that makes smart use of Lithium-Ion batteries in addition to ultracapacitors. These two sources are linked through AFS Trinity’s trademark “Fast Energy Storage” system, which employs the ultracapacitors for quick acceleration and regenerative breaking. Lithium ion batteries provide a steady power supply that is rechargeable overnight. The XH150’s top speed in electric mode is 87 mph, and it has an unlimited range in Hybrid mode.

AFS Trinity recently completed a 340 mile earth day tour to Washington with the XH150 and has announced plans for an “Extreme Fleet” of trucks that will employ the technology to cut commercial gas costs by up to 75%. According to AFS these super-hybrids should be on the market in 2-3 years.

+ AFS Trinity



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  1. iwaboy June 23, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    Driving 15K miles per year, with gas at $4/gal, against an hybrid SUV that gets 23 mi/gal, full reimbursement is re-couped in 4 years. The more miles you drive, the faster the return. You will be buying 552 fewer gallons of gas per year at $4/gal, that’s a $2208 savings per year x 4 years = $8832. This also does not account for any tax breaks from purchasing one of these.

    I do agree that “zero-cost” is extremely misleading, but they are referring only to the drive train. Not really something to brag about at cocktail parties if you ask me.

    The concern as they say is the life and safety of the battery. No long term tests are available.

    That being said, even at $40K, I will buy one of these upon release.

    This is but one alternative. Who says that we cannot have multiple choices for this problem?

    Plug-in hybrids
    Conventional Hybrids
    Full Electric

  2. Science101 June 5, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    Ev erybody chill! Every article on technology topics is wrong. First, the authors are not experts, They rely on information from others and then they spin it into a tale that the public is willing to read. Second, even the inventors do not have all of the information. They are generally aerospace geeks who know engineering but do not know finance and economics. Third, this is unproven technolgy and nobody has all of the answers yet. And yes, by the time this vehicle hits the market it is likely to be very different as batteries, capacitors, controllers, motors and recharging systems evolve. Let’s all be happy that somebody is working on solutions to the oil crisis and that we have something to look forward to, even if it does not pay for itself in 5 years.

  3. varispec1 June 4, 2008 at 1:43 pm

    Everyone here got it wrong. The thinking should be, where if everyone lowers their dependence on foreign oil, then the demand curve causing ever increasing prices of oil and gas will be moderated.


    Reduce Carbon Foot Print for each US citizen.
    Reduce Foreign Economic influence over our lives.
    Reduce Oil Companies Oligopoly.


    High Initial Cost for the drive train

  4. DanBailiff June 3, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    The math still doesn’t work. “Zero Cost” would only be true if you were able to generate revenue using the car in some way, where by some miracle you were generating more energy than you used and sold it someone else. A car is an expense and liability, both energy-wise and dollar-wise. Period. There is no way to recoup the cost unless you are using it as a business tool to generate revenue.

    To say that the additional cost is a break-even situation after a set number of years compared to another vehicle is a fair comparison, but this article’s wording is misleading and ignorant. It implies that the cost of the car is zero if you drive it enough. Shame on the author!

  5. Brian Lang May 20, 2008 at 2:11 pm

    I agree with FlatGreg. Looking at the math and graphs provided by AFS Trinity shows that the hybrid Drive Train cost of $8,666 will be paid for with three years worth of fuel savings.

  6. FlatGreg May 20, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    I clicked through since the math didn’t sound right.

    The above summary is misleading saying “it’s possible to recoup the hybrid’s $40,000 cost after 3-5 years!”

    To clarify, the extra cost of the hybrid drivetrain pays for itself in 2.5 years when gas costs $5/gallon. The entire vehicle won’t be “free” until 12 years with gas @ $5 a gallon. At $4 a gallon, that’d be 15 years.

    This is a great accomplishment, and I suspect we’ll see more ultracapacitor + lithium battery combinations in the future.

  7. dagny73 May 20, 2008 at 10:40 am

    This looks great. Although in 2-3 years who knows where technology will be. Hopefully there will be a ton of competition against this vehicle that will allow prices to drop and afford the average person a chance at owning one.

    Dagny McKinley
    organic apparel

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