While more interested in selling its technology to car manufacturers, AFT Trinity is not opposed to start converting HEVS to PHEVs on its own.
The Vue is a mild hybrid, and therefore unable to provide sufficient electrical drive for acceptable PHEV performance on its own. Therefore AFS Trinity adds a second motor to the Vue.
Form the block diagram, it appears that the PHEV conversion has the following characteristics:
- The battery pack is composed of low power (high energy) lithium batteries (probably not Phosphate, or they would have said so). Same as Tesla, one would guess.
- Ultracaps are added to handle the power peaks, which the lithium pack cannot handle.
- An AC electric motor is added to the drive train, to get sufficient power in all-electric drive
- Power electronics are a key factor in the conversion. To the stock electronics high voltage DC bus, they add:
- a bidirectional step-up/step-down DC-DC converter for the ultracaps
- an other one for the battery pack,
- a bidirectional inverter for the additional motor
- a synchronous rectifier for the charger
AFS Trinity states that this is patent pending technology. Yet, the characteristics described above are all already well known in the industry. It appears that [all the patents granted so far] have to do with a flywheel design.
AFS Trinity estimates that, if manufactured by a major car company, their solution would add $ 8700 to the price of the car.