Technology

New Tech Converts Any Rear Wheel Drive Vehicle Into Hybrid

Posted on April 16, 2012

PAPILLION, Neb. — Boston-based XL Hybrids, a hybrid conversion company, projects a 20% reduction in urban fuel consumption for vehicles outfitted with its hybrid technology.

The company’s hybrid upfit kit consists of an electric motor and controller connected to the drive shaft just in front of the differential by a drive belt. The system allows any rear wheel drive vehicle to recapture some of its kinetic energy while braking and offering additional launch assist torque. This means that Town Cars, vans, and other gas-operated rear wheel drive vehicles can realize improved fuel economy.

EVWorld reports that the technology itself will cost under $8,000, and commercial upfitters can install the system as part of a new vehicle or apply it as an aftermarket upgrade. The current demonstration version is equipped with a 2.3kWh lithium battery pack but the production version will come standard with 1.5kWh battery packs.

The first demonstration of XL Hybrids technology has been placed in service by an as yet unidentified “Fortune 50” corporation. XL Hybrids is also looking for additional New England area demonstration partners to use its hybrid vans, and operators interested in testing them out can click here to find out more information.

— Michael Campos, LCT associate editor

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