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Ricardo delivers AFS Trinity Power’s Extreme Hybrid™ demonstrator vehicle in record time

Visitors to the North American International Auto Show were today given the opportunity to see the XH-150™, the first vehicle to feature AFS Trinity Power Corporation’s Extreme HybridTM technology.  The advanced demonstrator vehicle unveiled today is one of two developed by AFS Trinity and built by Ricardo under contract  that were ready for testing in just five months.

January 13, 2008 . . . Plug-in hybrids offer the prospect of dramatically extending the all-electric vehicle (EV) mode of hybrid vehicles through the use of high capacity energy storage systems which can be recharged using grid electricity (typically overnight using discounted off-peak power).  AFS Trinity Power’s patent-pending Extreme HybridTM technology employs a proprietary dual energy storage system that combines Lithium-Ion batteries and ultra capacitors with proprietary XH™ power and control electronics with the aim of satisfying performance expectations of consumers and providing extended vehicle range in a highly energy-efficient and cost-effective package.

 In mid July 2007, AFS Trinity Power asked Ricardo to   help  integrate the Extreme HybridTM system into two identical XH-150™ demonstrators using two 2007 Saturn Vue Greenline SUVs as host vehicles.  
Ricardo responsibilities included  integrating AFS Trinity’s proprietary power and control electronics module into the vehicles, incorporating off the shelf ultracapacitors and batteries selected by AFS Trinity, design and development of a completely new Ricardo transmission for the vehicles, modifying the host vehicles’ suspension and chassis control and, finally, vehicle build.

The results of road tests carried out by AFS Trinity in December 2007 at Michelin’s Laurens Proving Grounds in South Carolina are highly impressive. In simulated urban/highway conditions the XH-150™ achieved an all-electric range of 41.9 miles and a top speed of 87 MPH.  In acceleration tests the company reports an all-electric zero to 60 MPH time of 11.6 seconds. The most interesting 0-60 acceleration time, however, was that for the XH-150™ in full hybrid mode, which was a stunning 6.9 seconds.

Further background information on the XH-150™ is provided in AFS Trinity’s press release also issued today.

Ricardo CEO, Dave Shemmans said: “The need to improve vehicle fuel economy is of paramount importance to automakers, governments and consumers in all parts of the world. Plug-in hybrids offer an attractive solution in the urban environment and are likely to play a significant role in the future.  We are proud to have been asked by AFS Trinity to assist in producing the first demonstrator based on AFS Trinity’s Extreme HybridTM technology and to have delivered the vehicle ready for testing in only five months.  The latest in a long line of hybrid programmes delivered successfully for our clients, this project further demonstrates Ricardo’s position as a leader in this field and underscores the company’s impressive vehicle integration capabilities.”

Looking to the future, AFS Trinity CEO Ed Furia said, “Our primary goal now that we have succeeded in developing, demonstrating and testing the XH-150™ is to license our XH™ system to automakers around the world who would like to have this exciting fuel-efficient drive train in their vehicles, and who better to help integrate the Extreme Hybrid™ technology into the vehicles of the world’s automakers than Ricardo.”

NOTES TO EDITORS:

Ricardo, Inc: The premier global eco-innovation technology firm, Ricardo Inc is the North American subsidiary of Ricardo plc, a leader in the development and application of new technologies and a partner to global transportation sector OEMs in the creation of new vehicles, powertrains, controls / electronics and new-energy technologies.  The company’s expertise ranges from concept design and strategic consulting through to prototype production and manufacturing implementation. Ricardo’s skill base represents the state-of-the-art in low emissions and fuel-efficient powertrain technology, and can be best summarised: “Ricardo is Fuel Economy.”

Ricardo plc: With technical centres and offices in the UK, USA, Germany, the Czech Republic, China, Japan and Korea, Ricardo is a leading independent technology provider and strategic consultant to the world’s transportation sector industries. The company’s engineering expertise ranges from vehicle systems integration, controls, electronics and software development, to the latest driveline and transmission systems and gasoline, diesel, hybrid and fuel cell powertrain technologies. Its customers include the world’s major vehicle, engine and transmission manufacturers, tier 1 suppliers and leading motorsport teams. Ricardo is committed to excellence and industry leadership in people, technology and knowledge; approximately 70 per cent of its employees are highly qualified multi-disciplined professional engineers and technicians. A public company, Ricardo plc posted sales of £171.5 million in financial year 2007 and is a constituent of the FTSE techMark 100 index – a group of innovative technology companies listed on the London Stock Exchange.  For more information, visit www.ricardo.com.   

About AFS Trinity Power: AFS Trinity Power is a privately-owned Delaware corporation headquartered in Bellevue, WA, that is developing Fast Energy Storage™ energy storage and power systems for vehicular, spacecraft and stationary power systems that utilize  batteries, ultracapacitors, and/or flywheels. The Company has conducted development programs with private and government organizations including DARPA, NASA, the U.S. Navy, U.S. Army, U.S. DOT, California Energy Commission, Oak Ridge National Laboratories, Lawrence Livermore National Labs, Lockheed, Ricardo, Mercedes and Honeywell. Although AFS Trinity is not currently using flywheels in systems that are designed for consumer cars, it is actively engaged in developing flywheel power systems for Formula One Racing (F1) and is currently also engaged in developing such a system for one of the world’s top F1 teams. American Flywheel Systems, Inc (AFS) received the first patent ever given for a flywheel battery in 1992 and merged with Trinity Flywheel Power to create AFS Trinity Power in 2000.
AFS Trinity and Ricardo, Inc. have a Technology Partnership Agreement by which Ricardo is assisting AFS Trinity as a preferred customer and is installing into passenger vehicles AFS Trinity’s Extreme Hybrid™ drive train technology, technology which is the subject of ongoing AFS Trinity U.S. and international patent filings. For more information, see www.afstrinity.com.

Media contact:

Anthony Smith
Ricardo Media Office                         
Tel:      +44 (0)1273 382710
Fax:     +44 (0)1273 880218
E-mail: media@ricardo.com
Web:    www.ricardo.com


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