XL3 Hybrid Electric Powertrain
Okay, after a bout a decade of hybrid cars on the streets, most of the bugs have worked out. With gas prices so high, some of us might finally be considering a hybrid vehicle as our next purchase. Fleet and commercial vehicle owners even more so, those fuel bills add up.
There is another solution to having to purchase a new car to enjoy hybrid technology. A company called XL Hybrids, Inc. is offering the XL3 hybrid electric powertrain, as a bolt-on for existing vehicles. That’s right, you can have this system installed on your existing vehicle, and convert it to a hybrid.
Unveiled last year, the XL3 is the third generation of the company’s product. It’s fairly simple, consisting of a 1.8 kWh lithium battery pack. Energy wasted through braking is captured and stored, then reapplied during acceleration, a process called braking regeneration. Fuel use and carbon dioxide emissions are decreased by up to 21.2 percent while the vehicle is being operated in urban areas.
Installation is fast and it integrates seamlessly with the original equipment manufacturer’s powertrain without any vehicle modifications required.
With the XL3 hybrid electric powertrain installed, fuel use is reduced by about 20 percent. Over the next few months, it will be made available for vans and trucks manufactured by Ford and General Motors.
For fleets, the cost is about $8,000 per vehicle to be upfitted, one of the lowest-priced alternative powertrain conversions available. On a vehicle that spends a lot of time on the road, that price can be recouped in a couple of years worth of fuel savings. Owners could save substantially more if the vehicle continues to be operated for several years, as most commercial vehicles tend to be.
By Linda Aylesworth – car-news.ca