LOS ANGELES – AFS Trinity Power Corporation has pulled its 150 MPG plug-in hybrid SUV prototypes out of the LA Auto Show but will independently exhibit and demonstrate the super fuel-efficient vehicles on their own elsewhere in downtown LA during the show, according to PRNewswire via COMTEX.
The company’s decision followed actions by the LA Auto Show to “muzzle” AFS Trinity from highlighting the 150 miles per gallon fuel economy of its XH150 prototype vehicles.
“The suppression by the automakers of information about technologies such as this raises serious questions about the judgment, vision, intentions, and capabilities of the leadership of these companies,” said Edward Furia, chairman and CEO of AFS Trinity. “Such conduct by the automakers, who are currently seeking tens of billions of taxpayer dollars, ostensibly to develop fuel efficient vehicle technologies, is evidence they are reluctant to embrace solutions they didn’t invent.”
First shown at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit in January 2008, two XH150 prototypes have toured the country for the past 10 months.
Furia explained that when AFS Trinity sought exhibition space on the main floor of the LA Auto Show, the only space that show management offered was the Kentia Hall basement. To address AFS Trinity’s concern that the Kentia Hall basement space was much less likely to attract visitors to the XH150 exhibit, show management offered the company a package of floor space in Kentia, advertising space in the auto show program, and billboard space on the main floor of the convention center, suggesting that AFS Trinity could use the ad and billboard to attract visitors to the basement exhibit.
“There was just one hitch,” Furia said. “Before we could proceed, the content of our ad and billboard had to be submitted to auto show management for approval. When we told them that the ad and billboard content would essentially be the same as what the company has used in its Web site for the past 10 months and which we used at the Detroit Auto Show in January, they responded that our mileage claim of 150 miles per gallon would not be permitted.”
Furia quoted an e-mail from LA Auto Show management that said, “We cannot approve this content ... the mileage claim is of primary concern to us. Manufacturers are forced to quote EPA verified mpg numbers in their advertising, and ... [your] 150-MPG figure is an estimation. A banner like this one in the lobby is likely to generate unfavorable reactions from manufacturers, which is something we will take action to avoid.”
AFS Trinity’s 150-MPG mileage estimate is based on a typical week of driving: 40 miles, 6 days per week, and 80 miles on one weekend day each week. The first 40 miles of every day are electric, with gasoline being used only for distances beyond 40 miles. For this driving profile, the XH-150 uses up to 2 gallons of gas to travel 320 miles, which works out to 160 mpg, which the company rounds down to 150 miles per gallon.