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XL Hybrids introduces 3rd generation hybrid system for Class 1-4 trucks; XL3 features in-line motor to ease upfitting

XL Hybrids’ third-generation inline post transmission motor and system components. Click to enlarge.

XL Hybrids, Inc., developer of a low-cost hybrid electric powertrain designed specifically for class 1 to 4 commercial fleet use (earlier post), unveiled its third-generation XL3 product release for model year 2014 vehicles. The XL3 system features a patent-pending inline traction motor system design, the newest upgrade for its hybrid conversion system.

The new inline (post-transmission) motor delivers the same output power rating (40 kW peak) as the preceding system, which used a motor installed in parallel to the existing drivetrain along with a 1.8 kWh Li-ion battery pack, said Justin Ashton, VP Business Development and co-founder. From a system-level perspective, the XL3 will deliver the same level of fuel economy, the same overall system efficiency Ashton said—but with lower cost components and lower cost installation.

The XL3 inline motor system allows for faster installation by XL Hybrids’ certified ship-thru upfitters, Knapheide Manufacturing and Leggett & Platt Commercial Vehicle Products, the company noted.

XL Hybrids has created one of the lowest-cost advanced alternative powertrain conversions for the commercial vehicle market that can provide more than $15,000 in total cost of ownership savings, net of the hybrid system purchase price, the company says.

The XL3 design seamlessly integrates with the original equipment manufacturers’ powertrain without major vehicle modifications. It is also rapidly configurable for all rear-wheel-drive light duty vans and trucks, allowing XL Hybrids to release the hybrid conversion for vehicles across manufacturers and powertrain specs. This helps meet growing customer demand for a drop-in solution to reduce fuel costs without reliance on subsidies.

Over the next 18 months, XL Hybrids will release the XL3 system for GM and Ford cutaway vans, shuttle vans and box trucks, as well as select class 4 box truck platforms.

The XL Hybrids XL3 powertrain is truly a drop-in product for ship-thru upfitters, who are accustomed to rapidly modifying and upfitting tens of thousands of vehicles per year. Our R&D team is continually focused on delivering technological advancements to reduce installation complexity and time and to enhance customer experience and value.

—Dr. Edward Lovelace, chief technology officer at XL Hybrids

Fleet customers can specify the XL3 system on their ship-thru orders of 2014 GM Express and Ford E-Series vans with dealers or purchase bailment pool vans from upfitters with the XL3 system installed.

The system is available in the US and Canada. Ashton said that the company expects to go from hundreds of systems shipped this year to thousands next year.


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