Imagine the scene: Automotive executives at an industry conference test-driving electrified and hybrid vehicles from various independent companies, including Ford models upfitted with XL Hybrids technology. The test track is filled with commercial trucks of all shapes and sizes demonstrating different technologies. A van driving on the track by starts to slow down. Instead of the usual sound and motion of normal breaking, the van sounds like someone is pounding from inside the cargo hold, trying to escape. Heads turn to see the commotion.
This scene proves an important point for any company developing and deploying electrified technology for commercial vehicles: When fleet industry folks buy a commercial vehicle, they want it to drive – and sound – like an OEM-quality vehicle: Same drivability, same reliability. And when it comes to electrified vehicles, fleet driver experience often means more to the fleet manager than the financial and sustainability savings.
Continue reading “The XL Hybrids PHEV Pickup Truck: It’s a Ford Truck”
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!)
Continue reading “Why was an XL Hybrids employee in Ford’s booth?”
Keeping a telecom network up and running is an important and challenging job. Millions of customers depend on telephone, cable TV and Internet service in cities every minute of the day. So, when Verizon, which operates a telecom network spanning 15 states along the Eastern seaboard, specs out its fleet of telecom service vans, the company only selects vehicle equipment that is rugged and effective enough to operate for years of driving in dense metropolitan areas where traffic, weather and road conditions can be tough and unpredictable. And when Verizon was looking for a vehicle electrification technology to improve its fleet’s fuel economy, Verizon decided to team up with XL Hybrids and deploy our hybrid-electric upfit system for Chevy Express cargo vans.
What started as a small successful pilot of 16 vans in 2015, and then another 36 vans in 2016, has now expanded to nearly 300 vans, highlighted by Verizon’s recent deployment of 234 new hybrid-electric vans to service New York City customers.
“Given the size of our company and the number of people we connect across the globe, Verizon has a unique opportunity and responsibility to have a positive impact on the environment,” said James Gowen, chief sustainability officer for Verizon. “With the addition of these hybrid vehicles, our fleet is as efficient as ever as we continue to use less fuel year after year. We thank NYSERDA for their partnership in helping to make this happen.”
Continue reading “Live, from New York…Verizon reorders fleet vehicles from XL Hybrids!”
I last attended the SEMA Show in Las Vegas about eight years ago. It’s amazing how much things change…and how much stays the same!
For those who don’t know, the SEMA Show is an annual trade show and exposition in Las Vegas for the paint, body and aftermarket automotive industry. Picture every wheel, tire, air filter, exhaust and all the parts in between in attendance and on display. Most manufacturers use highly customized demonstration vehicles in their booths to display their wares. The size, attendance and energy far surpassed my expectations. I’ve worked in or around the automotive industry for most of my professional life and hold cars and trucks as one of my top personal hobbies.
Without further ado, here are my top five impressions from SEMA 2017:
1. Trucks, trucks, and more trucks
Americans still love trucks. It should be no surprise that both Ford and Chevy are celebrating century anniversaries selling theirs. Plus, a pickup is still the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. Lifted, lowered, polished or dirty. Highly polished or fully wrapped in custom paint, graphics and extreme levels of personalization. Customized for the boulevard or modified for the mountain. Americans (present company included) love trucks.
Continue reading “Top 5 Impressions from SEMA in Sin City!”
Recently I attended the Fleet Technology Expo (FTX) in Chicago. One especially well-attended session at the conference was titled “The Future Fleet Vehicle.” The panel included representatives from two truck original equipment manufacturers and another from a national fleet. The panelists discussed how the design of a work truck can actually improve fleet driver efficiency in the field. They agreed that increasing fleet driver efficiency in the field yields enhanced overall value for companies in terms of improved customer service levels, strengthened branding, and more revenue.
This premise rang true for me. At XL Hybrids, we develop and deploy fleet electrification and connected vehicle technologies that improve a vehicle’s miles-per-gallon (MPG). Part of our value proposition to fleets is that a more fuel-efficient vehicle with a higher MPG yields a more productive driver in the field.
Continue reading “Companies, Stop Losing Revenue to Low MPG Vehicles!”
In our recent webinar, top fleet professionals from Yale University and the City of Boston shared their strategies for using electric hybrids to cut emissions in van and chassis fleets.
Ron Gitelman, Fleet Management Program Administrator for Yale University shared an overview of Yale’s Sustainability in Transportation program, which has a goal of reducing the environmental and financial impact of the University’s transportation needs while enhancing the quality of life for all users of New Haven’s streets. As part of the program’s initiatives, Yale’s fleet includes seven vans with the XL3® hybrid electric drive system and Ron noted, “They are exceeding our expectations for emissions and fuel savings and the green branding really helps our image here in New Haven.”
Ron told participants the hybrid shuttles are exceeding expectations for CO2 emissions reduction and fuel savings. “We are seeing great uptime. We started about one and a half to two years ago and we have seen no downtime due to the hybrid system. “When asked what drivers think about the hybrid shuttles, Ron told the audience, “The bus managers tell me the drivers really enjoy it, I have heard no complaints about it, they find it easy to use and believe me if there were problems with driving it, I would have heard the complaints by now.”
Ron finished is presentation by saying, “I foresee us continuing to order more hybrid vehicles.”
Continue reading “Watch our Webinar for Proven, Quick Wins for Meeting Fleet Sustainability Goals”
Many colleges and universities are looking to reduce operational costs, reach sustainability goals and demonstrate reduction of vehicle emissions on campus. Often when visiting a college or university campus to discuss deployment of XL Hybrids’ technology, I meet with Offices of Sustainability and/or the Parking & Transportation Departments. In these departments, fleet and vehicle service managers often have large economic, environmental, and visual impact to campus sustainability; however, ironically, a university’s fleet is often one of the last areas to ‘go green’ on campuses. I am on a mission to change this nationwide!
Sustainability is of great importance to student bodies, staffs, employees, and alumni, and because these constituents know that sustainability will prove to have a great impact of the future of the college or university. This got me thinking, how can these great ideas be put into action and receive the support needed? Truth is, it’s a team effort. Like the many athletic teams on your fields, sustainability is a team effort. If all the stakeholders aren’t working together, it’s going to be very difficult to achieve these goals. Like with a sports team winning a championship, university sustainability requires a team effort to form new habits, new procedures, and new ways of conducting the day-day tasks on campus. Installing efficient light bulbs, adjusting the smart thermostats, and adding recycle bins around the college grounds, are great initial steps. However, and even bigger win can be the university’s fleet.
Continue reading “University Sustainability is a Team Sport”
Climatemp Service Group, a premier provider of commercial heating and cooling equipment and HVAC preventive maintenance services in the Chicagoland area, will begin reducing fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions while servicing Chicago landmarks with their new hybrid-electric GM vans featuring XL Hybrids technology.
Climatemp’s name has stood for innovation, integrity and excellence for over sixty years. Climatemp’s mission is the same for every customer, whether small or large: to help each customer reduce costs and improve HVAC system operations. Thanks to XL Hybrids, Climatemp is now able to deliver on its promise in a greener, cleaner way. With XL Hybrids’ technology, Climatemp will enhance its fleet’s fuel efficiency and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. In addition, since the XL3 system requires no driver training, no special charging or fueling infrastructure, the Climatemp team can spend even more time focusing on its customers – and spend less time at the gas pump, too.
Continue reading “A Greener, Cleaner Way for Climatemp Service Group”
Over the last year, Yale University initiated a hybrid-electric vehicle program with XL Hybrids for three Ford 24-passenger shuttle buses. In just 6 months, Yale’s new hybrid buses saved more than 40 metric tons of carbon-dioxide, thanks to a 23% improvement in miles-per-gallon. As a result, Yale has already re-ordered additional Ford shuttles with XL Hybrids technology in 2016.
The MPG improvement data was gathered from the feedback of XL Hybrids’ connectivity system, XL Link™, and Yale’s own analysis. The XL Link technology provides a continuous data link from Yale’s hybrid vehicles and collects hundreds of operational data points, such as miles driven, fuel usage, idling time and average speed. The data is used to proactively monitor XL Hybrids system health, ensure vehicle uptime and report MPG performance in the field.
Continue reading “Yale Chose an Easy-to-Adopt Solution to Reduce Emissions and Exceed Sustainability Goals”
The City of Boston’s Central Fleet Management Division is responsible for acquisition, remarketing, and repair and maintenance services for a diversified fleet of 1,100 municipal vehicles and equipment. With the city’s Greenovate Boston Climate Action Plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050, the city strives to replace part of their fleet each year with vehicles that reduce environmental impact and help improve fleet operation efficiencies. Continue reading “City of Boston is Achieving 28% Improvement in Miles Driven per Gallon with the XL3® Hybrid Electric Drive Systems”