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.