XL Hybrids, Inc., a company that has developed a low-cost hybrid electric powertrain designed specifically for class 1-3 commercial fleet use (earlier post), will display a Chevrolet Express 2500 cargo van fitted with the company’s hybrid technology at the 2012 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Energy Conference Energy Showcase on 16 March.
The XL Hybrids powertrain consists of a 2 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, a 40 kW (53 hp) electric motor and a proprietary hybrid control system that operate seamlessly with the OEM internal combustion engine and automatic transmission.
The company says that its hybrid powertrain increases the EPA city fuel economy by 25%, which can provide a three year payback without government incentives, or immediate savings when combined with vehicle financing. Benefits of the hybrid powertrain include:
It is designed for rapid installation—less than four hours—in commercial vehicles without modifying or removing the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) engine or transmission.
There is no additional charging infrastructure or significant impacts to routing or cargo capacity, making XL Hybrids’ solution suited for commercial vehicles that operate under a high daily mileage in urban or suburban areas.
The hybrid powertrain is currently available for the Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana 2500 cargo and passenger vans, and the company is expanding the product lineup to include other makes and models of fleet vehicles, including Chevrolet and Ford vans and pickup trucks.
XL Hybrids was started by MIT alumni who collectively have founded four alternative energy companies. XL Hybrids president and founder Tod Hynes is also a co-founder of the MIT Clean Energy Prize, and XL Hybrids co-founder Justin Ashton was a finalist in the 2008 MIT Clean Energy Prize for a water desalination startup, Nanopur.