'XL' often means "bigger," but a new powertrain from Massachusetts-based startup XL Hybrids actually shrinks your fuel budget. About 21 percent smaller, to be precise.

XL Hybrids is announcing the debut of its XL3 hybrid powertrain, with intentions of starting to install it on General Motors and Ford vans and trucks within the next 18 months. The company reached an agreement with upfitters Knapheide Manufacturing and says its powertrains reduce fuel use, compared to conventional powertrains used in vans by about 21 percent. That means, XL Hybrids says, the aftermarket powertrains can save as much as $15,000 in fuel costs during the life of a vehicle. The company doesn't disclose the price of the conversion, just says that is it, "one of the lowest-cost advanced alternative powertrain conversions for the commercial vehicle market."

Founded by MIT grads, XL Hybrids started promoting its technology in 2011 when it fitted a Lincoln Town Car with its powertrain and said at the time that it could cut fuel use by 15 to 30 percent. More recently, company executives have estimated that XL Hybrids' revenue will double this year and jump tenfold in 2014 as its powertrains are installed in more light-duty vans and trucks, Forbes reported last month. To fund this expansion, XL Hybrids has raised about $9 million in financing. Read XL Hybrids' press release below.
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XL Hybrids Unveils XL3 Hybrid Electric Powertrain, Increasing Fleet Total Cost of Ownership Savings

Inline Motor Design on Third-Generation Hybrid System Allows for Faster Installation, Large-Scale Production

BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- XL Hybrids, Inc., developer of a low-cost hybrid electric powertrain designed specifically for class 1 to 4 commercial fleet use, today unveiled its XL3 product release for model year 2014 vehicles using a patent-pending inline traction motor system design, the newest upgrade for its successful hybrid conversion system. The XL3 inline motor system is a significant technological advancement that allows for fast installation by XL Hybrids' certified ship-thru upfitters, Knapheide Manufacturing and Leggett & Platt Commercial Vehicle Products. XL Hybrids has created one of the lowest-cost advanced alternative powertrain conversions for the commercial vehicle market, which can provide more than $15,000 in total cost of ownership savings, net of the hybrid system purchase price.

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," said Dr. Edward Lovelace, chief technology officer at XL Hybrids. "Our R&D team is continually focused on delivering technological advancements to reduce installation complexity and time, and to enhance customer experience and value."

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 U.S. and Canada. For more information on XL Hybrids technology and availability, visit www.xlhybrids.com or email info [at] xlhybrids.com.

About XL Hybrids

XL Hybrids designs, manufactures and installs hybrid electric powertrains for commercial vans and trucks. The company's patent-pending hybrid electric powertrain can be installed on existing vehicles or as an upfit on new ones. By storing energy wasted in braking and reapplying it during acceleration, XL Hybrids technology decreases fuel use and carbon dioxide emissions by up to 21.2 percent on urban routes, while operating with the same durability and reliability as traditional vans and trucks. XL Hybrids was founded by MIT alumni and is based in Boston. For more information, visit www.xlhybrids.com. Follow us on twitter @XLHybrids.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 1 Comment
      Marcopolo
      • 2 Hours Ago
      I really hope they succeed. However, I remain skeptical at enthusiastic start-ups with "economically viable ' bolt-on technology. $9 million is very little capital, and it always makes me wonder, why, if the technology is so great, why not simply sell it to an OEM ? It's very easy to make vague claims, but very hard to substantiate when the money doesn't exist to conduct proper trials. Many have travelled this road before, and failed to make significant progress. But, as I said, I hope they succeed.