XL Hybrids announced that The Knapheide Manufacturing Company, a commercial vehicle equipment provider in North America, will become a ship-thru installer of XL Hybrids’ XLP plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) upfits on Ford half-ton pickup trucks. Knapheide will begin XLP PHEV upfits on Ford F-150s in its Kansas City, MO, facility starting in fourth quarter 2017.
“The ease of integration of XL Hybrids’ technology onto Ford vehicles, combined with the fact that our installation follows all Ford eQVM guidelines integrating with the intact Ford powertrain, contributed to XL Hybrids getting Ford’s ‘eQVM’ designation,” said Chris Weiss, vice president of engineering for Knapheide. “We look forward to working with XL Hybrids to market and deploy both their HEV and PHEV products to our fleet customers, resulting in real vehicle lifecycle cost-reduction from fuel and maintenance savings.”
Both XL Hybrids and Knapheide were recently recognized within Ford’s new “eQVM” program, which is a vehicle electrification version of its long-standing Qualified Vehicle Modifier program. XL Hybrids was the first to be awarded the Ford eQVM supplier status, while Knapheide was the program’s first-ever eQVM installer.
“XL Hybrids’ XLP system is the first Fleet-Ready plug-in hybrid electric technology designed specifically to meet the operational requirements of fleets, as well as deliver a solid financial return,” said Clay Siegert, co-founder and chief operating officer. “Plus, our cloud-based data analytics system, XL Link, provides fleets with an unparalleled ability to measure key performance indicators and receive an analytics summary of millions of vehicle operational data points per vehicle.”
The XLP technology will be installed in MY17 and MY18 Ford F-150 pickups. XLP will be compatible with a range of wheelbases, cab and bed configurations. Installation of the XLP PHEV system can be completed in just hours on F-150 pickup trucks as a ship-thru upfit. The XLP technology leaves the original equipment manufacturer’s (OEM) engine, transmission, fuel system and exhaust system completely intact. Fleets will maintain the complete OEM warranty, and get a three-year, 75,000 mile warranty from XL Hybrids on the XLP powertrain.
“Knapheide has performed XL Hybrids system installations on a range of Class 2 vans and Class 3 and 4 cutaways for major national and municipal fleet customers,” said Bo Knapheide, senior vice president of distributor and fleet operations. “Now that we are adding the capability of performing ship-thru installations of plug-in hybrid electric systems from XL Hybrids, we expect the pace of growth to increase as more and more utility and municipal fleets seek electrification options.”