XL Fleet Electrification is electrifying Ford’s pickup lineup before the automaker makes its own electric light-duty pickup. The startup introduced a plug-in hybrid electric Ford Super Duty F-250 on Wednesday at the 2019 Work Truck Show in Indianapolis.
Boston-based XL makes a Ford F-150 that it began shipping in 2018 to U.S. municipal, utility and commercial fleets. XLP-F-250 deliveries are expected at the end of 2019, the company said.
Against a backdrop of electric truck concepts on display at the Work Truck Show, XL said hybridization is a better approach to grow its business and reduce the total cost of fleet operations.
“I think we have a very good business model because it’s focused on meeting the operating requirements of the customer,” Tod Hynes, XL founder and chief executive, told Trucks.com. “We started with the end customer and backed into a solution that met their requirements.”
The plug-in XLP F-250 will provide up to a 50 percent improvement in miles per gallon versus gasoline- or diesel-powered trucks, XL said. Greenhous- gas emissions are expected to fall by 33 percent during normal operations based on the plug-in F-150’s achievements at Environmental Protection Administration-certified testing facilities.
The hybrid F-250 has a high-voltage 15-kilowatt hour lithium-ion battery pack compatible with 110-vot or 240-volt charging stations. The battery also charges through regenerative braking that captures and stores energy while slowing the vehicle. An electric motor transfers energy back into the drivetrain through an electric motor.
Ford warranties on the truck are unaffected by the 750-pound electric system, which mounts to existing factory components. No special maintenance or charging infrastructure enhancements are required.
“The fleet industry is looking for ways to electrify their trucks now, without adding significant infrastructure costs or range concerns for their drivers,” Hynes said. “This vehicle gives them that power.”
Full electrification is coming, and XL will be there when it does, Hynes said.
“In the short term, it’s going to be driven by subsidies and mandates,” he said. “We are getting to scale with solutions that don’t rely on incentives.”
XL has sold its electrification systems to Coca-Cola and Verizon. In addition to Ford, it has worked with General Motors and Isuzu to electrify thousands of commercial trucks, vans and shuttles, with over 85 million miles driven.