Emphasizes Ship-Through with Redesigned Charge-Sustaining Drive,
Adding Ford Vehicles Too & ‘Blazing a New Trail’ as it Seeks QVM Nod
Massachusetts’ XL Hybrids has a new, inline driveline for hybrid vehicle upfits it calls the XL3, for third-generation, and is emphasizing ship-through availability via partners like Knapheide and Leggett & Platt for the product it says can reduce fuel use by abut 21%.
“The XL3 inline motor system is a significant technological advancement that allows for fast installation by XL Hybrids’ certified ship-thru upfitters,” XL says. Installation can now take as little as four hours, says XL co-founder and VP Justin Ashton.
Even prior to the XL3, “We’re actually shipping hundreds of units this year,” Ashton told F&F. “It’s been our goal to ship thousands, and I think we’re on track to do that in 2014,” he says.
‘Truly a Drop-In Product’
XL emphasizes a relatively simple hybrid drive, using just a 1.8-kilowatt-hour lithium battery pack from Johnson Controls. Testing according to U.S. EPA protocols has shown a fuel use reduction of 21.4%, whereas customer experience is showing 17% to 25%, Ashton says.
He quotes a volume fleet price (100 units) of $8,000 for an XL3 upfit. The new drive “can provide more than $15,000 in total cost of ownership savings, net of the hybrid system purchase price,” states the XL3 announcement.
“The XL Hybrids XL3 powertrain is truly a drop-in product for ship-thru upfitters, who are accustomed to rapidly modifying and upfitting tens of thousands of vehicles per year,” XL says.
‘All the Room in the World to Grow’
The ship-through strategy has the added advantage of removing XL from the manufacturing process. “We’ve got all the room in the world to grow,” Ashton says.
XL is adding Ford vehicles to its market of predominately GM vans, starting with E-Series vehicles next month and shifting to Ford’s expanded line of Transit vehicles as they become available next year and in 2015, Ashton says.
XL is seeking Qualified Vehicle Modifier status with Ford. “We are blazing a new trail,” Ashton says, noting that most of Ford’s QVM in the alt fuels world are gaseous fuels upfitters.
XL says that fleet customers can specify the XL3 system on their ship-thru orders of 2014 GM Express and Ford E-Series vans with dealers or purchase bailment pool vans from upfitters with the XL3 system installed.
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Source: XL Hybrids with Fleets & Fuels follow-up