Hybrids – Vehicles, Battery & Hydraulic Technology

East Coast Agencies Add More Hybrid Vans

July 30, 2015, by Eric Gandarilla

Photo courtesy of City of Boston.
Photo courtesy of City of Boston.

The City of Boston, Mass., and Montgomery County, Md., have commissioned additional XL Hybrid conversions to supplement the existing XL Hybrid vehicles in their fleets. These conversions mark an effort by both fleets to reduce carbon emissions and increase sustainability.

The agencies will be ordering a combined 26 XL Hybrid conversions by the end of the year; 16 will be going to Boston and 10 to Montgomery County.

“We [chose] to go with XL Hybrids because they are based in Boston, their technology can reduce fuel consumption by as much as 20%, they complete their installation process in 24 hours, and they can remotely monitor their hybrid systems to detect any issues,” said Jim McGonagle, director of central fleet management for the City of Boston.

The existing four XL Hybrid vans in Boston’s fleet performed well enough that city officials ordered 16 new vans using a Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources grant. Ten out of the 16 will be converted from its current fleet while the other six will be ordered new and converted before being delivered to the city.

The increase in hybrid vehicle use is part of the city mayor’s climate action plan, a plan that aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2020 and 80% by 2050, McGonagle said.

Over in Montgomery County, 10 additional XL Hybrid vans will raise the county’s total XL Hybrid fleet to 20 by the end of the year. The county first ordered 10 hybrid conversions for vans in its fleet back in 2014 as part of an initiative to reduce petroleum consumption by 20% over 5 years in the county, said Bill Griffiths, division chief of Fleet Management Services.

Since then, the original 10 vans have driven 100,000 miles and increased fuel economy by more than 25%, said Griffiths. That increase in fuel economy reduced fuel consumption by more than 3,800 gallons and saved the county $12,000.

Installing hybrid systems and expanding electric vehicle charging and compressed natural gas fueling infrastructure in Montgomery County has reduced its petroleum consumption by more than 9% in the first two years, said Griffiths.

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