New Technology Could Result in 250 MPG Hybrid Cars
With current manufacturers of hybrid cars boasting about 45-50 miles per gallon, a 250 MPG car may seem a bit far-fetched. But privately-held AFS Trinity Power Corporation has been developing exactly that, and believes they can achieve 250 miles per gallon fuel economy in a sedan and 200 miles per gallon in a SUV.
The Extreme Hybrid drive train technology is expected to cut emissions, dramatically lower driving costs, and reduce America's dependence on foreign oil. AFS Trinity Power expects to deploy this technology in a DOT hybrid bus demonstration project next year. Development of the passenger hybrid car drive train is expected to begin this year, should be ready for demonstration in a prototype vehicle in two years, and be ready for licensing to auto manufacturers in three years.
One of the primary differences between this vehicle and the current standard hybrid cars is that the Extreme Hybrid drive train derives most of it's power from electrical power grid, and not a gasoline engine.
In a recent meeting, AFS CEO Edward W. Furia revealed, "Vehicles that employ AFS Trinity’s Extreme Hybrid drive train will connect at night to house current through a wireless inductive coupler to charge their car’s batteries and flywheel. We expect it to run for 40 to 50 miles without burning a single drop of gasoline. Since most Americans drive less than 40 miles most days that means the average person would burn no gasoline on most days. The internal combustion engine only kicks in when one needs to go farther in a single day. If the driver needs to travel further than 40 miles, The Extreme Hybrid drive train will enable a car to go up to 500 miles as a conventional hybrid, while getting 50 MPG, using regenerative braking and producing the same lower level of emissions as conventional hybrids.”
Furia also revealed that the AFS hybrid technology is a much greater regenerative braking capability than in standard hybrid cars. The chemical batteries in current vehicles simply can't recharge quick enough to fully take advantage of the energy created during braking. However the AFS Trinity flywheel captures that power extremely quickly, and the Extreme Hybrid drive train is expected to recapture over 80% of the power created during braking.
The Extreme Hybrid drive train is in essence a hybrid-hybrid. When the vehicle is running on electricity only it will not rely exclusively on batteries. Advanced technology such as the flywheel and ultracapacitors will do the bulk of the work, and will provide high power in short bursts for acceleration or for quick capture of regenerarive braking energy. The flywheel will buffer and protect the batteries, allowing them to do what they were designed to: provide low-current for longer running time in electric only mode. Furia refers to this as the vehicle sipping power from the batteries rather than gulping it as current standard hybrid cars do.