Good ideas are plentiful, but whether they gain widespread acceptance or not is generally a crapshoot. However, great ideas are destined to make an impact and that’s what appears to be happening with XL Hybrids efforts to save commercial vehicle fleet owners a ton of money in fuel and emissions costs.
Founded in 2009, Boston-based XL Hybrids offers a unique and proprietary hybrid conversion technology for commercial vans and trucks. The patent-pending hybrid powertrain technology reduces fuel consumption and generates a financial return from fuel savings for urban fleets.
Initial pilot tests targeted GM 2500 Series vans including the Chevy Express and GMC Savana vans. As per the company, the technology will reduce fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions by up to 20% and enable vehicles to operate in any application as well as add torque for same or better performance with better efficiency. Reportedly, commercial fleets can realize fuel-cost savings between $1,500 and $2,500 or more per year.
Essentially, a conversion consists of outfitting an existing vehicle’s powertrain with XL’s electric motor, battery pack, and controls (see figure). Using the GM HYBRID 2500 pilot test as an example, specifications and parameters are as follows: system voltage is 300V; battery chemistry and energy level are Li-Ion and 2 kWh, respectively; motor type is permanent magnet; peak motor power is 40 kW (54 hp); peak motor torque is 60 ft.-lbs.; and GVWR is 8,600 lbs. The hybrid system itself weighs 400 lbs. Of particular note, the system limits a vehicle’s top speed to 70 mph, increasing the safety factor, and boosts city miles-per-gallon by 25%.
Figure two shows significant savings not only in terms of fuel costs, but carbon emissions as well. The company is planning to extend their technology to more vehicles in the near future. These include Ford E Series and F series vans and trucks, respectively, GM 1500 and 3500 vans, and Chevy Silverado trucks. For more details, visit the company’s website at http://xlhybrids.com or contact via email at [email protected].
XL Hybrids, Inc.