AFS Trinity Urges Congress and Candidates to Support Proposed Auto Stimulus Package
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SEATTLE, Sept. 24, 2008 AFS Trinity Power Corporation CEO Edward W. Furia today urged Congressional leadership and the Presidential candidates to set aside 25% of the proposed $25 billion U.S. Auto Industry stimulus package for small innovative companies outside of Detroit.
Furia's comments were contained in a written statement sent today to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D. Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D. Nev.), Senate Energy Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D. N.M.), House Energy Committee Chairman John Dingell (D. Mich.) as well as to the Presidential candidates, Senator John McCain and Senator Barack Obama.
Pointing to nationwide interest in new generation vehicles such as AFS Trinity's prototype Extreme Hybrid SUVs that deliver 150 mpg in a plug-in hybrid SUV, Furia asked the leaders, " . . . before you agree to provide $25 billion to the Big 3 in Detroit to come up with super fuel-efficient vehicles, consider setting aside 25% of those monies for smaller innovative companies across America who have been developing such technologies."
By way of an example, Furia pointed to AFS Trinity's XH150, "A fully operational Extreme Hybrid(TM) that can go at least 40 miles without burning a drop of gasoline in the electric vehicle mode with a top EV speed of 90 MPH. . . . and from zero to 60 in 6.9 seconds in full hybrid mode. After 40 miles as an electric vehicle they convert to gas. Since over 75% of Americans drive less than 40 miles a day, in this car, they would burn zero gasoline on most days. On weekends, they might drive an additional 100 miles, sixty of which would use gasoline. Based on a total of 340 miles per week, fuel economy will average over 150 miles per gallon. No additional new technology is needed. This technology is ready to be integrated into vehicles that could be mass produced. All that is needed is additional funding."
Furia also observed that politics seemed to be playing a significant role in the stimulus package: " . . . securing Michigan's and Ohio's electoral votes is obviously at the heart of the current draft of the legislation that is so strongly skewed toward providing funding for the big automakers in Detroit." But he continued, "GM, Ford and Chrysler aren't the only companies that want to develop innovative technologies for super fuel-efficient vehicles. Many smaller innovative companies have been developing electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle technologies for years while Detroit continued inexplicably to ignore the handwriting on the wall that the age of the gas guzzler was over."
Acknowledging that the auto industry needed help, Furia said, "Because the auto industry in Michigan and Detroit is in serious trouble, and because it's a major part of what remains of America's heavy industrial base, it makes sense for the government to help them avoid bankruptcy. But it would compound the previous myopic and flawed judgment of the automakers if Congress, and whoever becomes our next President, fails to give the opportunity to all companies developing super-efficient vehicle technologies to apply for this funding."
Furia touched on the need to tie the stimulus package to tighter automotive CAFE standards, saying, "No matter how much is appropriated for such technology, it should be tied not to CAFE standards of 35 miles per gallon by 2020, but to at least 40 miles per gallon by 2015."
The question of who would get what part of the package was also addressed and who would decide was also addressed: "It is inadvisable for Congress to assign the decision regarding which companies should get this funding to the incumbent automakers who have resisted such change for so many years. Such decisions should be made by an independent body that is free of political or economic self-interest -- an institution that may not be easy to find or create, but this important mission requires no less."
Furia did not suggest that AFS Trinity was the only smaller company outside of Detroit that could help America overcome its addiction to oil, giving numerous examples of other companies that could contribute to the cause, saying: "In the interest of quickly overcoming our dependence on oil: At least 25% of the funds to be provided for the auto industry should go to small innovative companies with technology that is relevant to this cause. This is a partial listing of them: