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In the News: The Municipal

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As more cities across North America continue to put forth ambitious carbon reduction goals, municipal fleet managers are increasingly being tasked with making the changes needed to turn those lofty sustainability targets into reality. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency now recognizes transportation as the number one contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, so municipal fleets are becoming a central area of focus for city and state governments looking to reduce their overall carbon footprint.

This trend, coupled with an increasing demand among city residents and society in general to “go green,” has led municipal fleet managers to consider alternative fuel vehicles for their work trucks. Electric powertrains have proven to be an enticing and increasingly popular option among consumer and commercial vehicles alike. However, all-electric, aka battery electric vehicles (BEVs), can still pose significant challenges for many types of fleets — especially those who travel longer distances or in rural areas on their routes.

Read the full article.

In the News: The Municipal

Profiles in XLence: Tejas Chafekar

Q&A with an XL Team Member:  Tejas Chafekar, Firmware Engineering Manager

EarthDayPlantationAtXL

How long have you been with XL, and what is your role?

I’ve been with XL for 6 years now, starting as a controls engineer and progressing through my current role as firmware engineering manager.

I was hired to develop the ground-up design of the firmware for XL’s products, which have progressed over the years to put us in position to scale more quickly as we add more platforms and supplier options. I have seen XL grow from having a few test vehicles driving around Boston to thousands of customer vehicles across the U.S. and Canada.

In my current role, I’m now responsible for growing the team and keeping us aligned with industry standard compliances for XL’s safety-critical systems.  I’ve been heavily involved with the performance tuning (and managing the associated EPA certification processes) to achieve fuel consumption reduction targets across multiple platforms, and working with suppliers to better integrate their products into XL’s system.

Continue reading “Profiles in XLence: Tejas Chafekar”

Profiles in XLence: Tejas Chafekar

VW Settlement Funding is Finally Here – Are You Ready?

VW Blog Post

It’s true! After months of fanfare, billions of dollars in VW settlement funding is now available to U.S. fleets. Here’s what you need to know.

Overview

Volkswagen has settled with the U.S. Department of Justice over the automaker’s efforts to cheat emissions testing.  As a result, nearly three billion dollars has been allocated to reduce diesel emissions in commercial vehicles across the United States.  That’s a lot of money, and fleets have an opportunity to use it to replace diesel-powered vehicles with cleaner, more fuel-efficient trucks moving forward.

Each U.S. state has had an opportunity to define their own program parameters. Most states have now done so, and their VW funding programs are ready to begin fielding reimbursement submissions. The funds are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, until funds run out – so now is the time to move forward.

The question is:  Are you ready to tap into what’s available in your state?

Continue reading “VW Settlement Funding is Finally Here – Are You Ready?”

VW Settlement Funding is Finally Here – Are You Ready?

Electrified Pickups Have Arrived. (Really!)

PickupTruckscomTruckReview

For years, fleets have been hearing about the impending rise of electrified pickups.  They’ve kept a hopeful eye on the market, waiting for these versatile vehicles to revolutionize the work truck industry with their high performance and low environmental impact.   Unfortunately, many of those early claims short-circuited, along with the companies trying to bring those products to market.

As a result, there’s a healthy skepticism today around any claims of an electrified pickup truck that can simultaneously meet the needs of the driver, the fleet manager, and the sustainability executive.  But that vision has very much become a reality, with XL’s Fleet-Ready™ electrified versions of America’s best-selling trucks.  Our hybrid electric Ford F-250 and plug-in hybrid electric F-150 pickups are here today.  They’re road-tested, independently validated, and racking up sustainable mileage for commercial and municipal fleets across North America.

Since 2009, XL has been revolutionizing the fleet industry with hybrid electric and plug-in hybrid electric versions of some of the industry’s most popular and proven OEM vehicles, including box trucks, cutaways, stripped chassis, transit vans and more.  We’ve now added electrified Ford F-series pickups to our product lineup, and the response – from the media, environmental agencies, and, most importantly, our customers – has been tremendous.  Here are a few of the highlights.

Continue reading “Electrified Pickups Have Arrived. (Really!)”

Electrified Pickups Have Arrived. (Really!)

In the News: PickupTrucks.com

PickupTrucks F150

We recently had a chance to drive one of the newest hybrid plug-in pickup trucks available. Now that it’s over, we think this could be the moment in time we look back to in 20 years when we’re driving hybrid micro pickups with payload capacities of more than 5,000 pounds.

All right, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but not by much.

The truck we drove in the Los Angeles area was built by XL, a Massachusetts company that develops and provides electric vehicles for commercial and municipal fleets. In April in Detroit, we drove a Ford Super Duty F-250 equipped with XL’s hybrid power assist system. Our short drive in that truck, which was equipped with a 6.2-liter V-8 engine, resulted in a 25 percent gain in fuel economy over a regular Ford F-250 without any substantial trade-offs.

Read the full article.

In the News: PickupTrucks.com

In the News: KDRV NewsWatch 12 Oregon

KDRV 6.25

MEDFORD, Ore. – RVTD is already seeing savings after adding six hybrid vans to their fleet earlier this year.

“It’s a very simple system that has a great effect add a net cost about $9500 for the up charge,” says RVTD’s Operations Manager, Tim D’Alessandro, “We’re thinking it’s going to be about the 3.5-year range to 4-year range; these vehicles typically go 5 to 7 years, so the return on investment is definitely there.”

Short-term savings are centered around fuel costs, “We don’t have a vehicle to relate side-by-side to you,” explains D’Alessandro, “but when we look at this vehicle type and what it traditionally gets and what it’s getting for fuel economy, we’re at about 23% fuel economy increase.”

Read & watch the full piece.

In the News: KDRV NewsWatch 12 Oregon

In the News: Public Works

PublicWorks

California has the toughest emissions regulations in the nation, and some cities’ are even tougher. Los Angeles County and two cities are electrifying vehicles to promote sustainability.

XL is upfitting a combined 38 hybrid and plug-in hybrid electric trucks and vans to improve fleet efficiency, increase MPG and reduce CO2 emissions.

The municipalities expect to see a 25 percent increase in MPG on hybrid electric models and a 50 percent MPG increase in plug-in hybrid electric models compared to their standard gasoline fleet vehicles. The orders represent the first hybrid electric cargo and passenger van purchases for Los Angeles County and the City of Long Beach.

Read the full article.

In the News: Public Works

In the News: Fleet Management Weekly

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If you were asked to rank the following green fleet vehicles in order of their net CO2 emissions savings over standard, gas-powered vehicles, from highest reducing to least reducing, how would you order them?

  1. Plug-in Hybrid Electric Truck (PHEV)
  2. Hybrid Electric Truck (HEV)
  3. Battery Electric Sedan (BEV)

(Hint:  If you guessed the order above, you’d be right.)

Surprising?  Not when you look at the full picture of relative net CO2 emissions.

Read the full article.

In the News: Fleet Management Weekly

In the News: The Drive

 

TheDrive.finalWhen most people think of a hybrid, they think of a Toyota Prius. When they think of a plug-in hybrid they think of a Honda Clarity, or maybe a Ford Fusion Energi. They certainly don’t think of a Chevy Express, Ford Transit, or an Isuzu step van, because they’re not built in hybrid versions. Massachusetts-based company XL is offering a unique twist on the standard hybrid formula for large commercial vehicles that aren’t available with a hybrid system from the factory.

The consumer hybrid market is filled, Tod Hynes CEO of XL told The Drive. But the commercial market is wide open. Only now is Ford introducing a hybrid version of the F-150 pickup. Other trucks and vans have not yet seen the benefit of hybrid technology from the factory. Additionally, many such vehicles are used for inefficient stop-and-go urban driving. This is where the old-fashioned large V-6 and V-8 engines perform worst. But it’s also what electric vehicles excel at, both in performance and fuel economy.

Read the full article.

In the News: The Drive