Snow Plow News talks with Ben Harford, Northeast Sales Manager at XL Fleet about how XL Fleet’s hybrid systems are great options for contractors.
August 16, 2022 | Emma Tyborski
XL Fleet is a company that is on a mission to provide simple, sustainable electrification solutions to the commercial fleet market – a previously untapped space with a large number of vehicles with low mileage and high emissions. XL Fleet has become the undisputed leader in fleet electrification solutions for Class 2-6 commercial and municipal vehicles.
Traditional gas-powered, commercial fleet trucks perform critically important work, but cause more pollution and burn more fuel than any other vehicles on the road. It’s a complex problem, but XL Fleet is making those same vehicles cleaner, greener and more sustainable.
Both the XL Fleet hybrid and plug-in hybrid technologies transform a factory OEM vehicle into a more fuel-efficient hybrid, by adding an electric motor, an advanced lithium-ion battery pack, and control software. No other significant modifications to the vehicle are required, and no changes are made to the internal combustion engine or transmission.
To make a hybrid vehicle, XL Fleet installs a shortened drive shaft with an electric traction motor installed in line with it. They then wire a battery pack usually in the spare tire compartment of the vehicle, so the system powers the rear axle with the electric power in addition to the gas engine. The system works so that the gas engine doesn’t need to use as much fuel to do the day-to-day job. The fuel savings this system provides is 10-20 percent as well an mpg increase from 15-25 percent.
The XL System will make the vehicle partially hybrid electric, but it doesn’t get rid of the gas engine, so the gas engine’s always functioning in cohesion with that electric traction motor and battery. So if you’re out plowing and your battery goes dead or if it’s not functioning, if there’s something wrong with the system, the gas engine up front will be the main source of power and propulsion so as long as you have gas in the tank. The XL Systems doesn’t plug in, they’re always on and you don’t need to worry about range anxiety, charge time or having vehicles off the road, it gets rid of all those hurdles, speed bumps and anxieties about fully electric vehicles but still gives the user something that’s going to make a positive impact on the environment.
For plowing customers, you will not only receive fuel and emissions savings, but the electric traction motor will add an additional 220 foot pound of torque on top of what you’re getting from the gas engine up front, so from a plowing perspective you’re gonna have a really powerful truck that’s pushing loads with that snow plow.