Hybrid Vehicles are Fleet Sustainability Accelerators
Ever since transportation officially became the largest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, companies and municipalities throughout North America have taken a leadership role in scaling back emissions – often by announcing ambitious sustainability goals to be achieved within short timeframes.
While those goals are important and commendable, fleet managers in those organizations are now under more immediate pressure to demonstrate that they are greening their vehicles and reducing carbon emissions.
While the industry has clearly identified fleet electrification as the best path forward for achieving these goals, there are still significant challenges (including high capital cost, insufficient infrastructure, and lack of product options) that are keeping fleets from moving forward with large numbers of battery electric vehicles (BEVs).
As a result, demand for hybrid electric (HEV) and plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) fleet options has skyrocketed in recent years. These readily available upfit solutions provide immediate fuel economy and sustainability value while overcoming the most pressing challenges of all-electric vehicles.
- Minimal infrastructure requirements – Hybrid and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles continue to leverage the vehicle’s internal combustion engine, so there’s no range anxiety to consider.
- Reduced capital and operating costs – While federal or state incentive programs are typically needed to purchase even a single battery electric commercial fleet vehicle, HEVs and PHEVs can be purchased at a fraction of the cost, delivering immediate value and lowering operating expenses over time.
- Wide range of vehicles and applications – When hybrid and plug-in hybrid electric drive solutions are offered as aftermarket upfits, they can be installed onto a wide range of popular fleet vehicles from multiple OEMs.
Hybrids and plug-in hybrids are helping propel the fleet industry into an all-electric future, with a number of advantages that can accelerate BEV adoption as those technologies and supporting infrastructure continue to develop:
- Immediate results with longer-term demand. Adopting commercial HEVs and PHEVs now can help drivers, maintenance teams and fleet managers become accustomed to operating and maintaining electrified vehicles immediately, creating further demand for electric powertrains down the road.
- Strong installation and service capacity. Aftermarket electrification providers like XL Fleet have built comprehensive networks throughout North America where customers can buy, install and service their electrified vehicles from the same location – often from the same dealer or upfitter they’re already working with.
- Greater charging efficiency with minimal infrastructure. A single EVSE station can often charge multiple plug-in hybrid vehicles in the same time required to fully charge an all-electric vehicle. This maximizes shift efficiency and can help defer costly power system upgrades needed to support a BEV fleet.
As the commercial transportation industry slowly evolves to adapt to a future in which all-electric propulsion is the norm and not the exception, hybrid and plug-in hybrid fleet vehicles will remain an integral part of most fleets’ sustainability plans for the foreseeable future. They are widely available, easily deployed, and are making an immediate sustainability impact – especially when replacing older, traditional gas- and diesel-powered vehicles.
For over ten years, XL Fleet has provided commercial and municipal fleet managers with hybrid and plug-in hybrid electric drive solutions for a wide range of vehicles and applications. XL Fleet customers have driven well over 100 million fleet miles with the company’s electrification systems installed on Class 2-6 vans, pickups, shuttle buses, delivery trucks and specialty vehicles from Ford, GM and Isuzu. XL’s hybrid systems are installed on some of the world’s largest and most successful commercial fleets, and the company’s plug-in hybrid electric drive technology was named one of TIME magazine’s best inventions of 2019.
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