Update: XL Hybrids advises that the installation of the XLP plug-in hybrid system is done by a third party upfitter. The story has been amended to reflect this new information.
XL Hybrids has received an order from San Diego Gas & Electric for 110 plug-in hybrid pickup trucks equipped with the companies new XLP system. The package adds an electric motor and a lithium ion battery pack of “more than 10 kWh” to an existing light duty pickup truck. No modifications of the original powertrain are required, which means the original factory warranty remains in full force and effect. The company says its system reduces fuel consumption by about 50% while lowering carbon dioxide emissions.
The XL Hybrids system is an “up fit” package. The trucks are shipped directly from the factory to a third party upfitter where the hardware is installed. Once the modifications are complete, the upftitted fleet vehicles re-enter OEM ship-thru to the customer. XL Hybrids already supplies a conventional hybrid system which has proven durable and effective in real world service. That’s important to fleet managers for whom equipment breakdowns mean higher costs.
XL Hybrids award winning XL3 hybrid-electric powertrains have accumulated more than 35 million road miles with better than 99.9% vehicle uptime on Class 2-6 vehicles in major fleet operations since 2013. That history of reliability makes customers like SDG&E, Liberty Utilities, Hawaiian Electric Company, and Montgomery County Maryland confident the new plug-in package will work as advertised.
“Major fleets that have already adopted the XL3 hybrid-electric up-fit system know and trust that XL Hybrids is ‘fleet ready’ because we deliver on our promise of products that do not compromise fleet operations – and we will do the same with our new XLP system,” said Clay Siegert, XL Hybrids’ co-founder and chief operating officer. “Our technology will be the first plug-in solution that is available for tried and true commercial pickup trucks for fleets today. XL Hybrids is committed to providing products that do not impact service, delivery, or field operations.”
The plug-in package adds 650 pounds to the weight of the vehicle, which could be a pickup truck from GM, Ford, or Dodge. Installation by the third party upfitter takes just a few hours. The company says the battery can be recharged in one hour using a 240 volt charger. The new plug-in hybrid pickup truck system also comes with an advanced package of data analytics that will keep track of fuel economy and emissions. The first deliveries of trucks with the XLP hardware package are expected to begin in the fourth quarter of this year.
The announcement from XL Hybrids leaves only one question unanswered. If a private company can make a business out of developing and installing a plug-in hybrid system for pickup trucks, why can’t the factories figure out how to do the same thing themselves?
Source: Electric Cars Report