AFS TRINITY SIGNS ACCORD WITH AUSTIN ENERGY GIVING PLUG-IN PARTNERS FIRST ACCESS TO 250 MPG EXTREME HYBRID CARS
Ricardo, world's leading automotive engineering firm, to assist with first XH™ cars
SEATTLE, August 17, 2006 . . . "An accord that was signed this week in Seattle and Austin should put Americans one step closer to seeing the 250 MPG AFS Trinity Power Corp (AFST) Extreme Hybrid ™ car on the road," according to AFS Trinity CEO Edward W. Furia.
The AFST/Austin Energy (AE) memorandum of understanding sets the stage for Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) to be put into the participating fleets of Plug-in Partners (PIP) consortium of utilities and municipalities. Although many hurdles still need to be surmounted before the first Extreme Hybrid™ rolls into a PIP participant fleet, "we took a big step today," said Roger Duncan, the Deputy General Manager of Austin Energy which is the founding participant of PIP.
Duncan said, "The deal we signed today gives PIP participants the opportunity to be among the first to order AFS Trinity Extreme Hybrid™ vehicles. PIP's job is to encourage our members to lease these vehicles. AFS Trinity's job is to complete development of the prototype and involve an automotive OEM as a development partner. All of these things must be accomplished for the agreement to work."
Duncan said that PIP regards this agreement as one of the most important developments to date in the plug-in hybrid field. The AFS Trinity technology is expected to permit PHEV cars and SUVs to have the same acceleration and highway speed performance in all-electric mode (when zero fuel is used) as when they are operated as conventional hybrids. In essence, for the first 40 miles that are driven, the XH™ is expected to have all of the benefits of a fully electric vehicle—zero fuel consumption and zero emissions but with performance equal to a conventional vehicle. This is significant because a 40-mile range is adequate for the daily driving needs of 75% of American drivers. Then, as a bonus, if and when necessary, the car can be operated in hybrid mode, increasing its range to more than 450 miles.
In May, AFS Trinity announced it had filed a patent for an Extreme Hybrid™ drive train that makes possible a plug-in hybrid that will travel more than 250 MPG as a car and more than 150 MPG as an SUV.
Furia said, "This agreement is important not just as a validation of our technology but also as a clear path toward its commercialization. We have been talking with carmaker OEMs in the U.S. and in three other countries for several months. Once we complete an agreement with one or more of them, we will be able to specify the model and price of the vehicles we can offer to PIP participants.
About AFS Trinity Power Corporation
AFS Trinity Power is a privately-owned Delaware corporation headquartered in Bellevue, WA, that has engaged in the development of Fast Energy Storage™ power systems for vehicular, spacecraft and stationary power systems. 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 and Honeywell. 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 signed a mutually exclusive Technology Partnership Agreement to develop the Extreme Hybrid™, the technology for which is the subject of ongoing U.S. and international patent filings. For more information, see http://www.afstrinity.com
About Austin Energy & Plug-in Partners
Launched by the city of Austin, Texas, and its municipally-owned and operated electric utility, Austin Energy, Plug-in Partners' goal is to demonstrate to automakers that a market exists for plug-in hybrid vehicles by recruiting partners in local governments, national security organizations, utilities and civic and environmental groups. The hope is that with sufficient public interest and demand, carmakers, who have been reluctant to invest in the technology, will respond with viable, affordable products, from cars to delivery vans. Since its launch in January 2006, most of the 50 largest U.S. cities, other municipalities, many States, Councils of Governments (COGs) and over 200 of the nation's electric utilities have become participants in Plug-in Partners. These organizations are expected to issue thousands of purchase orders to lease or buy the first PHEVs for their fleets. The US Conference of Mayors and other national municipal, security, civic and environmental organizations have endorsed the PIP initiative.For more information, see http://www.pluginpartners.com
With its North American headquarters in Van Buren Twp., Michigan, Ricardo has been a world-leading vehicle system and powertrain technology provider for automotive manufacturers, heavy-duty manufacturers and tier one suppliers since 1915. The company provides expertise ranging from designing and developing engines, transmissions and drivelines, to integrating vehicle systems and creating software solutions, to developing gasoline, diesel, hybrid and fuel cell technology. Ricardo is committed to excellence and industry leadership in people, technology and knowledge. In addition to playing a major role in the development of AFS Trinity's Extreme Hybrid™ drive train, Ricardo intends to assist automotive OEMs who will be able to license the XH™ drive train for use in their own vehicles. A public company based in the U.K., Ricardo plc posted sales of $272 million in fiscal year 2005 and is a part of the FTSE techMark 100 index – a group of innovative technology companies listed on the London Stock Exchange. For more information, see http://www.ricardo.com