XL Hybrids, Inc., a company working to reduce petroleum consumption and emissions in commercial fleet vehicles with cost-effective hybrid vehicle technology, has announced it is releasing customer pilot tests of its innovative hybrid powertrain technology, designed first for the GM 2500 Series vans, including the popular Chevy Express and GMC Savana vans.
The hybrid powertrain is designed to reduce fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions by up to 20 percent for urban fleets, said Justin Ashton, co-founder and vice president of business development of XL Hybrids.
As oil and fuel prices have continued to rise sharply over the past decade, commercial fleets have not had a cost-effective hybrid electric solution, he said. The company is working with equipment upfit companies and with fleet maintenance companies to certify them to install the hybrid powertrain on new and used vehicles.
XL Hybrids is initially targeting sales to fleets that operate the vans at least 25,000 miles per year in urban/suburban routes.
The company will also offer the XL Hybrids (XLH) powertrain as an option through fleet leasing partners in 2012, and expects fleets could see operating expenses reduced with minimal or no up-front capital.
Ashton said additional benefits for fleets who install the XLH powertrain include:
- Savings between $1,500 and $2,500 or more per year from the improved fuel economy.
- A three to five year payback for fleet customers.
- Increased low-end torque.
- Installation in less than one day.
The XLH powertrain is comprised of a 2 kWh advanced lithium-ion battery pack, a 40 kW (53 hp) electric motor and a proprietary hybrid control system that operate seamlessly with a 4.8-liter internal combustion engine and automatic transmission.
The powertrain provides flexibility for fleets to operate the vehicle in any application, although the maximum fuel savings will be achieved on urban or mixed suburban/urban routes. The system can provide an additional 240 foot-pounds of torque at the driveshaft when the hybrid electric motor assists during acceleration, allowing fleets to have the same or improved performance with increased efficiency, noted Ashton.
XL Hybrids’ new Boston facility in Brighton, MA, will serve as the company’s headquarters and engineering center.
To learn more about the hybrid van specifications and about how to pilot test the hybrid technology, visit www.xlhybrids.com.
XL Hybrids designs, manufacturers and installs hybrid electric powertrains for commercial vans and trucks. The company’s patent-pending hybrid electric powertrain can be installed on existing vehicles or as an upfit on new ones.
The hybrid powertrain - working in parallel with the original equipment manufacturer’s engine and transmission - stores energy wasted in braking and reapplies it during acceleration.