Imagine the scene: Automotive executives at an industry conference test-driving electrified and hybrid vehicles from various independent companies, including Ford models upfitted with XL Hybrids technology. The test track is filled with commercial trucks of all shapes and sizes demonstrating different technologies. A van driving on the track starts to slow down. Instead of the usual sound and motion of normal breaking, the van sounds like someone is pounding from inside the cargo hold, trying to escape. Heads turn to see the commotion.
This scene proves an important point for any company developing and deploying electrified technology for commercial vehicles: When fleet industry folks buy a commercial vehicle, they want it to drive and sound like an OEM-quality vehicle: Same drivability, same reliability. And when it comes to electrified vehicles, fleet driver experience often means more to the fleet manager than the financial and sustainability savings.
Continue reading “The XL Hybrids PHEV Pickup Truck: It’s a Ford Truck”
I last attended the SEMA Show in Las Vegas about eight years ago. It’s amazing how much things change – and how much stays the same!
For those who don’t know, the SEMA Show is an annual trade show and exposition in Las Vegas for the paint, body and aftermarket automotive industry. Picture every wheel, tire, air filter, exhaust and all the parts in between in attendance and on display. Most manufacturers use highly customized demonstration vehicles in their booths to display their wares. The size, attendance and energy far surpassed my expectations. I’ve worked in or around the automotive industry for most of my professional life and hold cars and trucks as one of my top personal hobbies.
Without further ado, here are my top five impressions from SEMA 2017:
1. Trucks, trucks, and more trucks
Americans still love trucks. It should be no surprise that both Ford and Chevy are celebrating century anniversaries selling theirs. Plus, a pickup is still the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. Lifted, lowered, polished or dirty. Highly polished or fully wrapped in custom paint, graphics and extreme levels of personalization. Customized for the boulevard or modified for the mountain. Americans (present company included) love trucks.
Continue reading “Top 5 Impressions from SEMA in Sin City!”
In our recent webinar, top fleet professionals from Yale University and the City of Boston shared their strategies for using electric hybrids to cut emissions in van and chassis fleets.
Ron Gitelman, Fleet Management Program Administrator for Yale University shared an overview of Yale’s Sustainability in Transportation program, which has a goal of reducing the environmental and financial impact of the University’s transportation needs while enhancing the quality of life for all users of New Haven’s streets. As part of the program’s initiatives, Yale’s fleet includes seven vans with the XL3® hybrid electric drive system and Ron noted, “They are exceeding our expectations for emissions and fuel savings and the green branding really helps our image here in New Haven.”
Ron told participants the hybrid shuttles are exceeding expectations for CO2 emissions reduction and fuel savings. “We are seeing great uptime. We started about one and a half to two years ago and we have seen no downtime due to the hybrid system.” When asked what drivers think about the hybrid shuttles, Ron told the audience, “The bus managers tell me the drivers really enjoy it, I have heard no complaints about it, they find it easy to use and believe me if there were problems with driving it, I would have heard the complaints by now.”
Ron finished is presentation by saying, “I foresee us continuing to order more hybrid vehicles.”
Continue reading “Watch our Webinar for Proven, Quick Wins for Meeting Fleet Sustainability Goals”
Many colleges and universities are looking to reduce operational costs, reach sustainability goals and demonstrate reduction of vehicle emissions on campus. Often when visiting a college or university campus to discuss deployment of XL Hybrids™ technology, I meet with Offices of Sustainability and/or the Parking & Transportation Departments. In these departments, fleet and vehicle service managers often have large economic, environmental, and visual impact to campus sustainability; however, ironically, a university’s fleet is often one of the last areas to go green on campuses. I am on a mission to change this nationwide!
Sustainability is of great importance to student bodies, staffs, employees, and alumni, and because these constituents know that sustainability will prove to have a great impact of the future of the college or university. This got me thinking, how can these great ideas be put into action and receive the support needed? Truth is, it’s a team effort. Like the many athletic teams on your fields, sustainability is a team effort. If all the stakeholders aren’t working together, it’s going to be very difficult to achieve these goals. Like with a sports team winning a championship, university sustainability requires a team effort to form new habits, new procedures, and new ways of conducting the day-day tasks on campus. Installing efficient light bulbs, adjusting the smart thermostats, and adding recycle bins around the college grounds, are great initial steps. However, and even bigger win can be the university’s fleet.
Continue reading “University Sustainability is a Team Sport”