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Washington state welcomes home hybrid SUV

Thursday, June 5, 2008 - 00:00
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Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire and other state and local officials have welcomed home Washington-based AFS Trinity Power Corporation from a cross country tour in which its XH-150 Plug-in Hybrid SUVs have been celebrated as the possible answer to record high fuel prices, U.S. oil dependence and motor vehicle greenhouse gas emissions.

The XH-150 is not only a possible solution to high fuel prices and vehicular greenhouse gas emissions, but also a powerful confirmation that the tighter fuel economy standards contained in Washington's Clean Cars Initiative are fully achievable with technology that already exists.

Two XH-150 prototypes are returning to the Seattle area after being unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit and then traveling to cities across the U.S. to demonstrate the car to carmakers, government officials and the driving public, including a ride-and-drive demonstration on Earth Day for members of Congress in the nation's capital.

Road tests of the XH-150 at Michelin's Laurens Proving Grounds in South Carolina prior to the Detroit unveiling demonstrated extreme fuel economy without sacrificing performance. Test reports indicated the XH-150 traveled 41.9 miles without burning an once of fuel in a mixed urban/highway driving cycle, achieved all-electric highway speed of 87 mph, accelerated faster to 60 mph than comparable gasoline-only models (11.6 seconds) and, in full hybrid mode, delivered zero to 60 in just 6.9 seconds. Along with dramatically reducing vehicle emissions, the XH-150 is expected to significantly reduce the cost of operating a car. It uses only one dollar of off-peak electricity to provide enough power for the average driver's 40 miles of daily driving and can achieve 150 miles per gallon during a typical 340 mile week. No other hybrid or plug-in hybrid of which AFS Trinity is aware has demonstrated the ability to achieve such fuel economy, range, highway speed and acceleration.

"Global climate change is a threat to our environment and economy that will impact future generations," says Gregoire. "I am hopeful that continued research and development will lead to even more innovations like the Extreme Hybrid plug-in. This Washington-headquartered company is a shining example of Washington state being a home for innovators."

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