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XL Hybrids Is Using JCI Battery Packs

August 20, 2012 in batteries, Electric Drive, Hybrids by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

High-Power, Spiral Wound Lithium Nickel Cobalt Al for Vans

In line with a strategy of using top-drawer components for its modest hybrid vans, Massachusetts’ XL Hybrids is announcing this morning that it will use new battery packs from Johnson Controls, Inc. when it enters production in early 2013.

XL Hybrids has named Johnson Controls as the supplier of lithium ion battery packs for its GM van conversions.

The JCI packs with high-power, spiral-wound lithium nickel cobalt aluminum cells represent a refinement of the battery packs in the XL Hybrids vans currently in trials. They are “based on an off-the shelf module with some customization,” says XL co-founder and supply chain VP Clay Siegert.

XL is developing economical upfits – costing about $8,000 – of GM vans, yielding fuel savings of better than 20% (F&F, June 25). The idea is to offer fleets significant savings while keepings costs down, all the while maintaining high quality and reliability.

“Our strategy is to source our components from Tier 1 auto suppliers,” XL co-founder and business development VP Justin Ashton told F&F Friday. “It really does reduce our risk.”

XL is using drive motors from Parker Hannifin (F&F, May 24).

XL plans to place as many as 30 vehicles with fleets for trials this year. Some are already in test service. “We’re smack dab in the middle of validation with some of the largest fleets in the country,” Ashton says. “Large, Fortune 500 fleets.”

The new battery pack has 1.8 kilowatt-hours of energy storage and, more importantly, a peak discharge power rating of 50 kilowatts with a nominal 260 volts. “Short bursts of high power are important,” says Siegert. The new pack will be fully developed and launched from Johnson Controls’ lithium ion facility in Holland, Mich. in early 2013, XL says.

“Our agreement with Johnson Controls, one of the largest automotive suppliers in the world, gives our team and customers confidence in the performance and quality of such a critical component as the energy storage system,” Siegert says in today’s release. “Purchasing a battery pack manufactured in the USA was an additional bonus as we are committed to supporting domestic production.”

Pickups Coming Too

“XL Hybrids has a compelling business model which provides a high value and commercially viable solution for commercial fleet operators,” Johnson Controls Power Solutions VP David DeGraaf says in the XL announcement. “Further, this supports Johnson Controls’ commitment to the domestic supply of advanced battery technologies.”

XL hybrid versions of Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana vans with the new Johnson Controls pack will go on sale in 2013. XL says it “will extend its offering to include a full lineup of hybrid makes and models including the most popular pickup trucks and vans,” as well.

XL said in May that Henley Transmission Services, with nine locations the largest franchise holder of AAMCO automotive service centers, has agreed to certify technicians to install and service XL’s hybrid electric conversions in New England (F&F, June 4).

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Source: advance XL Hybrids release, Fleets & Fuels interview




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