SALT LAKE CITY ---  AFS Trinity Power Corp. and Ricardo recently showcased the XH-150 Extreme Hybrid SUV at the 2008 NAFA Institute and Expo in Salt Lake City, Utah, as part of a GreenRide and Drive event.

The two companies also announced creation of Extreme Fleet, a joint program to offer Extreme Hybrid fleet vehicles that use no gasoline at all on most days without sacrificing vehicle size or power. 

The XH-150 SUV is a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) capable of 40 miles on a single charge, 87 miles per hour in all-electric mode, unlimited range in mild hybrid mode, and faster acceleration than gasoline-only versions of the same vehicle.

The new Extreme Fleet program will be headquartered in Bellevue, Wash., with vehicle development conducted at AFS Trinity's engineering center in Livermore, Calif., as well as at Ricardo facilities in the U.S., Europe and Asia. 

"Our Extreme Hybrid SUVs 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," AFS Trinity Chairman and CEO Edward Furia said. "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."

Dave Shemmans, chairman and CEO of Ricardo plc, added: "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."

The Extreme Fleet program will focus on building and licensing special-purpose vehicles using specially designed or existing car, truck and SUV platforms. The vehicles are expected to bear AFS Trinity trademarks --Extreme Hybrid, XH and "Powered by Fast Energy." 

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, the companies said. Extreme Hybrids also accelerate faster than gasoline-only versions of the same model cars.

"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 gasoline at all because most people drive less than 40 miles a day," Furia said. "However, 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 gasoline cost problems." 

Originally posted on Green Fleet Magazine