I arrived at the recent Greenbuild and Architecture Boston Expo in Boston, and promptly was asked to change my shirt.
Why? I arrived wearing my crisp “XL Hybrids” button down shirt. However, my Ford Motor Company booth mates had other ideas for my attire. Since I would be working in Ford’s booth for the next two days at the Expo, I would now be wearing a shirt with “The Blue Oval” instead.
XL Hybrids van in Ford’s booth
Why was I at the Greenbuild Expo? Ford invited my company, XL Hybrids, to display a Ford Transit van upfitted with our XL3 hybrid-electric system. At an expo focusing on trends like sustainable buildings and architecture – and with an expo attendee list filled with representatives from major building construction companies with fleets of thousands of work trucks and vans – Ford aimed to educate these Expo attendees about Ford’s electrified vehicle offerings….with the XL Hybrids transit van as a booth centerpiece. (You can see from the photos that the XL Hybrids van looked great in Ford’s booth!)
XL technology on Ford trucks
In Ford’s booth, I served as a de facto Ford “product specialist.” I educated potential fleet customers on XL Hybrids vehicle electrification technology, and the fact that XL Hybrids was the first-ever Ford eQVM vendor. For example, in addition to the hybrid-electric Transit van, I explained we also offer electrification upfits on many Ford trucks, including F-150 and F-250 pickup trucks, E-Series box trucks and shuttles, and F-59 Class 5-6 step vans. The technology, which installs in just 5-8 hours, offers fuel economy improvements, fuel cost savings, and GHG emission reductions. Expo attendees asked a ton of questions!
Educating my Ford colleagues
I really enjoyed working side-by-side with my Ford “colleagues,” who included members of Ford’s marketing team and commercial sales team. All the Ford team members at the show were very inquisitive about XL Hybrids. Interacting with them was one of the most valuable parts of the show for me. While familiarizing the Ford folks about XL Hybrids technology, almost all of them could think of fleet customers who would want to learn more, and potentially purchase XL systems.
Part of the Ford team
Many times I would be educating customers on the XL3 hybrid system and they would ask detailed OEM Ford questions. Ford reps were ready to assist, and we worked together to answer questions. By the second day of the Expo I even found I was able to answer basic Ford questions, such as, “What are the specs of the Transit on display?” (Answer: Ford Transit cargo 148” wheelbase van with a 3.5L EcoBoost engine, mid-roof height and a 3.73 rear axle ratio!)
Sustainability winning the day
I also became knowledgeable about Ford’s sustainability goals and efforts. Did you know that Ford is reducing wastewater and material waste in their factories? Every 45 minutes at the Expo, a Ford representative would give a presentation in the booth on Ford’s sustainability goals and green practices. Of course, XL Hybrids technology was featured on a slide, at which point the Ford presenter would give me a shout out to the crowd. Ford’s commitment to sustainability mirrors a significant current global trend where Fortune 500 companies (e.g. XL customers FedEx, PepsiCo and Coca-Cola included) are setting ambitious goals on this front. Hopefully, we see even more companies making these commitments in the near future.
Attending the Expo was a great experience. I educated team members from a major XL partner. I spoke to many customers. And it looks like Ford will invite XL back to participate in their booth in a future show!
And finally, while I look good wearing The Blue Oval, I like my XL Hybrids gear even more.