Guzzlers Going Green

Update: Since this segment ran, XL Hybrids announced a 100-van deal with Coca Cola.

Trucks, vans and other heavy fleet vehicles waste a ton of fuel, and there aren't many hybrid options on the market. XL Hybrids, a business started by three MIT graduates, has found a way to save truck fleet owners both energy and money. By retrofitting old vans and pickups (and up-fitting new ones), the company converts gas guzzlers to hybrid vehicles. They install a hybrid electric powertrain, the package of components that generate and transfer energy, in order to make them more efficient. Because they can be connected to any model regardless of age, customers don't have to buy new models, just fix their old ones. This could have a huge impact, not just on fuel savings, but on the consumer’s wallet, too. These converted hybrids get up to 30% more mileage and use up to 20% less fuel. This boost especially impacts vehicles that drive more than 25,000 miles a year. Additionally, because there are so few options for hybrid fleet vehicles, there is a large demand: the company estimates the addressable market here in the United States at about $5 billion. XL Hybrids is funded by private investors, and has partnerships with some big name brands, including FedEx and Coca Cola.

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