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”
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At XL Hybrids, we have designed our XL3 hybrid-electric system to be simple to install – so simple that it can be completed by one technician in just hours. Standard automotive tools and a vehicle lift are all that’s required. In this short clip, we give you a behind-the-scenes tour as I install the XL Hybrids system in a General Motors van for the City of Boston.
I begin with the XL Hybrids electric motor, which is installed behind the vehicle’s transmission. A lithium ion battery pack is installed behind the rear axle. Both motor and battery are connected to an inverter on the vehicle’s frame rail. A closed-loop cooling system and wiring harnesses finish it off. That’s all there is to it. With all components installed, I take the vehicle for a short test drive to verify that detailed performance data is being reported, including MPG improvement.
Continue reading “XL Hybrids System Installation on a GM Van Takes Just Hours”
This article first appeared in The Fuse on September 21, 2016.
If you have read Vincentric’s recent lifecycle cost analysis,, which shows only seven of 29 hybrid vehicles offered in the 2016 model year had a lower total cost of ownership than their gasoline counterparts, you are now armed with some valuable information when you purchase your next vehicle. However, you may not have the whole story on hybrids.
While the Vincentric research accurately finds that in most cases today, purchasing a hybrid car or hybrid SUV simply doesn’t pencil out, this picture of hybrids changes dramatically when you look at hybrid-electric commercial vehicles like trucks and vans, which have much lower base MPG ratings than cars and SUVs, are driven more miles per year than typical consumer usage, and have longer life cycles on the road where all financial benefits to operators can be accrued over a longer period of time.
Let’s look at a sample case that is very typical of commercial vehicle duty and life cycles. Say a fleet shuttle bus or work truck drives 100 miles per day for 250 work days per year in urban and suburban stop-and-go driving, and gets 8 MPG over a 10-year lifespan. This vehicle will use $70,000 worth of fuel over its 10-year life, assuming the current $2.25-per-gallon price holds over that time.
Continue reading “Vincentric’s Hybrid Vehicle Analysis Omits the Best Economic Opportunity: Commercial Trucks”
This article first appeared in The Fuse on August 24, 2016.
Bravo to Elon Musk and President Obama. They continue to think big by setting ambitious goals for U.S. vehicle electrification, backed by multi-billion dollar commitments to various all-electric vehicles and charging stations.
Last month, the Obama administration announced loan guarantees of up to $4.5 billion to build electric-car charging stations, and support broader electrification. Back in June, Mr. Musk unveiled Tesla’s Master Plan Part Deux. Besides calling for an audacious solution of vertically-integrated solar panel-charged Tesla sports cars, Part Deux also includes plans to build an all-electric pickup truck, an electric heavy-duty semi-truck, and an electric bus concept that would turn a bus driver into a “fleet manager.” Musk said his overall goal is for Tesla to offer an array of products and services to accelerate the transition away from oil.
Continue reading “XL Hybrids Continues To Fill The Gap In Elon Musk & President Obama’s All-Electric Vehicle Plans”
Questions we at XL Hybrids often hear from fleet customers about the XL3 Hybrid Drive System include:
– “How do I wrap XL Hybrids upfits into my new vehicle purchases?
– “How do I retrofit my vehicles already in service?”
– “Can XL Hybrids systems be installed on leased vehicles?”
– “Does XL Hybrids offer hybrid systems in Canada?”
Our goal is to make it simple. Yes, on new vehicle purchases, you can order XL3 systems at the same time as you order your vehicles. We can work directly with your preferred dealer to provide quotes, detailed production information, and the right upfitter ship-thru codes. In terms of upfitters, we have sales and installation partnerships with Ford and General Motors ship-through partners such as Leggett & Platt® CVP, the Knapheide Manufacturing Company®., Adrian Steele®, and , Farmbro® in Canada. These installation partners can upfit new vehicles or retrofit existing ones and are located throughout the US and Canada.
Continue reading “XL Hybrids Makes it Easy to Order XL3® Hybrid Electric Drive Systems”
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”
It is exciting to finally be able to talk about the elephant in the XL Hybrids garage! The recent debut of our XL LinkTM cloud-based connectivity and analytics system means we can finally share one of the critical ingredients in our recipe for delivering low cost fuel economy and sustainability: DATA.
Today, making smart and informed equipment purchasing decisions is just the beginning–not the end–of the story. Cutting edge connectivity and cloud technologies can now provide us with the data to validate these purchasing decisions by proving that equipment delivers and continues to deliver the performance promised. More than that though, they can empower us to leave behind the old, one-size-fits-all, depreciating model of purchasing and using equipment in favor of an adaptive, iterative program of progressive improvement tailored to the realities of a specific business. We developed the XL3® hybrid electric drive system hardware platform product with real time performance feedback precisely to enable our own cycle of innovation -> validation -> adaptation, and we are thrilled to be able to finally share our software platform product XL Link, one of the key components that allows us to continue to develop and improve our system’s performance, with our partners and customers.
Continue reading “The Critical Ingredient for Delivering Low Cost Fuel Economy and Sustainability: DATA”