AFS Trinity Unveils UltraCap-Battery Plug-in Hybrid

The idea behind the AFS Trinity is based on a widely accepted rule of thumb: the vast majority of drivers travel fewer than 40 miles a day.

Published: 12-Jan-2008

A HYBRID that drives the first miles of each trip on batteries charged from the electricity grid — and burns no gasoline at all until the batteries have been drawn down — is a widely sought antidote to $3 gasoline. But no automaker has yet shown a battery pack for such a vehicle, known as a plug-in hybrid, that would be durable enough for mass production.

Now one company, AFS Trinity Power of Bellevue, Wash., says there is no need to wait for advanced batteries to be invented — that a successful plug-in hybrid can be assembled from components that are already available. The company, which specializes in energy storage devices, is displaying a running prototype at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, which opens Sunday for press previews and runs through Jan. 27.

The prototype is based on a Saturn Vue Green Line, a hybrid crossover that General Motors builds using a low-cost belt-alternator system for its electric drive. With extensive modifications, AFS Trinity’s Vue can run 40 miles on electricity alone, the company says, drawing its power from a combination of lithium-ion batteries and scaled-up versions of common electrical devices called capacitors.


Conceptually, Bevel would feature a small, efficient V6 HEV, combining driving pleasure with environmentally friendly design.

The Edge crossover concept vehicle could go the first 25 or 30 miles each day on energy from the power grid.

Priced at $24,400 MSPR, the Altima Hybrid has been certified by the Internal Revenue Service as meeting the requirements for the Alternative Motor Vehicle Credit, thereby qualifying for a tax credit of $2,350.


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