The growing demand for upfitted electric drive systems

The growing demand for upfitted electric drive systems


Electrification solutions for light- and medium-duty vehicles are continuing to grow in popularity. As a result, XL Hybrids is reporting that a rising number of commercial and government fleets, universities and national parks have been adopting its XL3 Hybrid Electric Drive System.

New municipalities deploying the XL3 system include the city of Long Beach, Calif., and Dakota County, Minn., while the city of Boston has added more XL Hybrid systems to its fleet. Also, the state of Massachusetts recently announced that it will be installing the system in 52 vehicles at five agency fleets. Xanterra Parks and Resorts will also be deploying the XL3 solution at Mount Rushmore National Memorial and Rocky Mountain National Park.

New commercial fleets ordering the XL3 and joining existing XL Hybrids customers such as Coca-Cola Co. and AmeriPride Services include Draught Services (a division of The Beer Store) in Canada and Walden Local Meat Co., while existing customer Liberty Utilities has ordered additional systems. The company also announced that Columbia University is a new customer, while existing customers Yale University and Harvard University have reordered hybrid-electric upfits.

All of these customers are deploying the XL Hybrids technology on a range of different vehicles, including Ford Transit cargo and passenger vans, Ford E-Series cutaways, and GM and Chevrolet Express vans and passenger shuttles. In addition, XL Hybrids is making its technology available on Ford Super Duty F-250 pickups.

Available in the first quarter of 2018, the first hybrid electric upfit for Ford pickups will be the offered as a ship-through option on the Super Duty 6.2-liter V8 gasoline engine compatible model in a range of wheelbases, cab and bed configurations, and in both 4×2 and 4×4 versions. The upfit is offered through Ford’s Electrification Qualified Vehicle Modifier (eQVM) program, which helps commercial fleet customers meet their needs for electrified work trucks.

Ford recently expanded its Qualified Vehicle Modifier (QVM) program to include companies that develop and install electrified powertrains for commercial vehicles, including trucks, vans and shuttles. XL Hybrids was the first company included in the eQVM program and is both a technology provider and an installer.

XL Hybrids is also releasing its new XLP product for Ford F-150 pickup trucks. Already placing orders for pickups with the new plug-in hybrid (PHEV) technology are several utility fleets, including Hawaiian Electric Co., NV Energy, DTE Energy, and San Diego Gas & Electric Co., which has signed a memorandum of understanding for 110 units.

The XLP plug-in hybrid (PHEV) system leverages the company’s hybrid-electric technology and, like the XL3, is installed under the vehicle, allowing a van’s cargo/passenger area or a pickup bed’s full capacity to be available. Installation leaves the engine, transmission, fuel and exhaust systems completely intact.

All XL Hybrids-equipped vehicles have the XL Link cloud-based analytics system, which measures and reports on MPG performance. The proprietary connectivity solution is a continuous data link from every vehicle equipped with an XL3 system. XL Hybrids is using the XL Link system to collect millions of operational data points and to provide analysis and reports on key performance indicators.

“Cost savings and sustainability enhancements continue to be priorities for companies and municipalities, and our XL3 and XLP systems are proving to be a low cost and seamless way to achieve both,” said Clay Siegert, co-founder and chief operating officer of XL Hybrids. “Fleets appreciate that our technology can electrify popular vehicle models, allowing them to maintain OEM warranties, with no special fueling or charging infrastructure or driver training required.”

Recently, according to Siegert, XL Hybrids surpassed 50 million total combined customer road miles operated with XL3 systems. That experience, he added, is now the basis of the company’s expanding product roadmap, and is driving its focus on delivering electrification solutions for a growing number of vehicles.

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