‘Installs in Five Hours, Zero Impact on Fleet Operations’
Massachusetts-based XL Hybrids, which hit the market in 2010 with a bolt-on kit for converting GM vans to hybrid electric operation – thereby paring fuel use by about 20% – now offers upfits for Ford vehicles and for larger vehicles, with kits for cutaways and strip chassis vehicles, as well as for vans.
XL Hybrids late last year unveiled its third-generation XL3 drive. The company emphasizes a relatively simple hybrid design, using just a 1.8-kilowatt-hour lithium battery pack from Johnson Controls.
“Business agility is vital in today’s competitive environment and the XL3 Hybrid Electric Drive System brings our success with class one and two vans to popular class three and four truck and shuttle bus configurations,” XL Hybrids president and founder Tod Hynes said in a release at the NTEA Work Truck Show in Indianapolis this month.
“This opens up opportunities for fleets operating cutaway and strip chassis vans to get a 25% increase in miles driven per-gallon, reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 20%, and see an attractive return on their investment.”
XL says that the “revolutionarily simple” XL3 Hybrid Electric Drive System is now available for tough, flexible commercial vehicles up to 14,500 GVW including van body, refrigerated, utility, landscaper, walk-in vans, and shuttle buses. The XL Hybrids’ charge-sustaining powertrain installs in just five hours, and has zero impact on fleet operations because there are no special plugs, charging or fueling infrastructure, driver training, or maintenance requirements.
XL co-founder and VP Justin Ashton has quoted a volume fleet price (100 units) of $8,000 for an XL3 upfit for a smaller vehicle. The new drive “can provide more than $15,000 in total cost of ownership savings, net of the hybrid system purchase price,” said the XL3 announcement late last year (F&F, October 1).
“The system is currently priced under $10,000 installed for most new vehicle applications,” sales VP Jay Sandler told F&F today.
The XL conversions are available on a ship-through basis via partners including Knapheide and Leggett & Platt (F&F, March 4).
In addition to the Ford E-350 and E-450 cutaways with 5.4-liter engine announced at WTS 2014, the XL3 drive is available on Ford E-150, E-250 and E-350 cargo and passenger vans with 4.6- and 5.4-liter engines. Ford’s 6.8-liter engine vehicles and Chevrolet and GMC 3500 4500 series cutaways will follow, Sandler says.
“This expands our offering from class 1 and 2 vans to now include a variety of class 3 and 4 popular truck configurations including van body, refrigerated body, utility body, landscaper body and of course shuttle buses up to 14,500 GVW,” he said just prior to WTS 2014.
The First Hybrid QVM?
XL is working to secure Qualified Vehicle Modifier recognition by Ford, Sandler notes. It would be the first QVM nod for a hybrid electric conversion.
In addition to the Ford E-350 cutaway with 10-foot dry van body, XL Hybrids showed a Chevrolet 2500 Express Van in Coca-Cola livery at WTS 2014. XL brought a 2500 series Chevy cargo van to NTEA’s Green Truck ride-and-drive.
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Source: XL Hybrids with Fleets & Fuels follow-up