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Vehicles

Optimizing a Hybrid Drive Upfit System for Commercial Fleet Use

Company Name: XL Hybrids
Program Office: Vehicles
Location: Boston, MA
Website: http://www.xlhybrids.com
Email: Dr. Edward Lovelace, CTO;
elovelace@xlhybrids.com
Award Amount: $37,700
Project Term: 3 to 6 months
Project Status: Active
Participating Lab(s): Argonne National Laboratory

CRITICAL NEED

Commercial delivery fleets are rapidly implementing strategies that will dramatically reduce their oil use, lower operating costs, and cut associated heat-trapping emissions. XL Hybrids has developed a post-transmission parallel hybrid system that can reduce a vehicle's fuel use during urban driving by 20 percent. Installing the system takes only four to six hours and the company has validated fuel savings by running chassis dyno tests on urban drive cycles and through real world case studies with several of its customers. However, individual truck fuel savings results vary depending on many factors including drive cycles, driver behavior, payload, environment, particular vehicle platforms and a given vehicle's maintenance history. XL Hybrids will partner with Argonne National Laboratory's Vehicle Systems Testing and Analysis Group to employ their unique expertise and facilities for testing and analysis of the Isuzu Reach – a popular commercial van used by the largest worldwide delivery fleets – with its XL3 hybrid electric up-fit.

The validation and savings optimization data from this collaboration could allow XL Hybrids to identify ways to improve their product and to successfully market it to a wider array of fleet operators, helping them realize greater cost reductions and fuel savings.

PROJECT INNOVATION + ADVANTAGES

The XL3 hybrid electric up-fit is the only such platform product that spans Class 2 to 6 vans and trucks. It also offers a competitive price-point starting at less than $10,000 for purchase and installation. It's also the only such product that can ship within a day and get installed in a short time frame. Because the vans and trucks on which the system could work are so ubiquitous, successful commercialization of this technology could result in significant oil use savings and emissions reductions. For each 1,000 systems sold, the company estimates it could reduce 500,000 gallons a year in fuel use.

POTENTIAL IMPACT

Economy:

Reducing shipping costs saves money for businesses and consumers across the economy. For fleet operators, reducing fuel use makes their companies more competitive and lowers operating costs. For individual vehicle owners, money saved on gas can be spent on other parts of their business or realized as profit.

Environment:

For each 1,000 systems installed, XL Hybrids estimates that operators can avoid 4,000 metric tons a year of carbon dioxide emissions. At the same time, reducing urban fuel use delivers clean air benefits in densely populated regions.

Security:

Medium- and heavy-duty trucks, including work vans, are among the fastest growing sources of increased oil use in the United States. Cutting oil consumption from these vehicles enhances U.S. energy independence.