Proven elec­tric hy­brid driv­e­trains for half-ton bakkies

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING - ALWYN VILJOEN

WHILE South Africa ranks with Malaysia and South Amer­ica as a top-sell­ing bakkie mar­ket, our buy­ers do not have much of a say in what driv­e­trains fu­ture bakkies should of­fer.

That au­thor­ity goes to the Amer­i­can buy­ers, who en­sure that the Ford F250 is the over­all top-sell­ing ve­hi­cle in the U.S.

And with de­mand for the asyet-un­proven fuel cell Nikola One truck hav­ing net­ted the de­vel­oper $3 bil­lion (R42,2 bil­lion) in de­posits, any man­u­fac­turer with an eye on the Amer­i­can buyer will be of­fer­ing pick-ups that just sip fuel.

En­ter XL Hy­brids In­cor­po­rated, a com­pany founded in 2009 by MIT alumni in Bos­ton, Mas­sachusetts, whose hy­brid elec­tric and plug-in hy­brid-elec­tric pow­er­trains can be fit­ted to any of the ma­jor OEM plat­forms and have been proven to de­liver on av­er­age 20% to 50% im­prove­ment in con­sump­tion and CO2 emis­sions, as well as 99,9% fleet up­time. XL Hy­brids was recog­nised as one of the 2014 World’s 50 Most In­no­va­tive Com­pa­nies 2014 by Fast Com­pany, and has buy-in from na­tional fleets in the U.S. The com­pany now of­fers a plug-in hy­brid sys­tem for halfton bakkies, which it said in a state­ment is an in­dus­try-first, fleet-ready so­lu­tion, with de­liv­er­ies to fleet cus­tomers sched­uled for the fourth quar­ter of 2017.

Clay Siegert, XL Hy­brids’ co­founder and chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer, said the tech­nol­ogy will be the first plug-in so­lu­tion that is avail­able for tried and true com­mer­cial pick-up trucks for fleets to­day. He said XL Hy­brids sur­veyed fleet man­agers to un­der­stand their most crit­i­cal re­quire­ments and de­vel­oped the new tech­nol­ogy based on cus­tomer de­mand for hy­brid elec­tric plug-in tech­nol­ogy on com­mer­cial work trucks from the lead­ing OEMs.

The new XLP so­lu­tion will build on the plat­form prod­uct tech­nol­ogy used on the com­pany’s award-win­ning XL3 hy­brid­elec­tric pow­er­train, which has achieved more than 35 mil­lion road miles with over 99,9% ve­hi­cle up­time on Class 2-6 ve­hi­cles for ma­jor fleets since 2013.

The XLP lithium bat­tery pack will be over 10 kWh, and will ac­com­mo­date Lev­els 1 and 2 charg­ing us­ing an in­dus­try-stan­dard plug.

Dr Ed­ward Lovelace, XL Hy­brids’ chief tech­nol­ogy of­fi­cer, said in a state­ment the plug-in hy­brid elec­tric so­lu­tion has al­ready been proven over mil­lions of fleet road miles.

“XLP will pro­vide fleet cus­tomers with un­prece­dented re­li­a­bil­ity, ve­hi­cle up­time and driv­abil­ity for a plug-in hy­brid pick-up truck so­lu­tion,” said Lovelace.

“The launch of our XLP plugin hy­brid so­lu­tion reaf­firms XL Hy­brids is the in­dus­try leader in fleet elec­tri­fi­ca­tion so­lu­tions, and we are proud to have ma­jor cus­tomers al­ready com­mit­ted to sup­port our prod­uct launch next year.”

Like Tesla cars, the XLP hy­brids will link to a cloud-based big data an­a­lyt­ics sys­tem, which mea­sures MPG per­for­mance and re­ports car­bon diox­ide emis­sions re­duc­tions.

The pro­pri­etary XL Link ve­hi­cle con­nec­tiv­ity is a con­tin­u­ous data link from ev­ery ve­hi­cle, col­lect­ing mil­lions of op­er­a­tional data points, al­low­ing anal­y­sis and re­ports on key per­for­mance in­di­ca­tors.

PHOTO: XLH

XL Hy­brids, a com­pany formed in 2009 by MIT alumni, are ready to sup­ply half-ton bakkies with a retro­fit elec­tric sys­tem that has proven fuel sav­ings of up to 50%.

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