AFS Trinity Power Corp. and Ricardo plc have agreed to work together to design, test and develop an extreme hybrid (XH) drive train for 250 mile-per-gallon vehicles that can plug into house current. AFS Trinity expects to license the drive train to automakers.
Ricardo CEO Dave Shemmans says his firm’s 1,750 engineers and consultants will help automakers integrate the plug-in drive train into their vehicle platforms. AFS Trinity chairman and CEO Edward W. Furia estimates that Ricardo’s participation in the project “will take years off the time needed” to bring the XH drive train to market. He says that power electronics, ultracapacitors, batteries, motors and other components for the drive train “are all advancing rapidly and reducing in cost.” Ricardo will help identify third-party vendors for some components, while others will come from AFS Trinity’s prior work on government contracts and internal research and development.