While the exact reason – as well as the amount – is unknown, a recent announcement has confirmed that Swedish furniture giant Ikea has invested in XL Hybrids, a Boston-based manufacturer of hybrid conversion kits for standard gasoline-powered vehicles. The full article can be found at Green Car Reports, but here are the bullets:
- XL Hybrids offers hybrid conversion kits for gasoline-powered vans, commercial trucks, and pickups
- They recently completed a new round of funding, raising $22 million, which included Ikea Group (XL Hybrids has raised a total of $50 million since its inception)
- The company has already sold kits to Coca-Cola and San Diego Gas & Electric
- Their kit that allows fleet buyers to “upfit” their vehicles into hybrids, leaving the original internal-combustion engine, transmission, fuel system, and exhaust intact, and preserving the factory powertrain warranty remains intact as well
- The system adds an electric motor and a lithium-ion battery, which provides 10+ kilowatt-hours of capacity and includes regenerative braking
- Recharging the battery takes less than one hour with a 240-volt AC Level 2
- The kit adds 650 pounds to the vehicle, but cuts fuel consumption by up to 50 percent
- XL Hybrids hopes to increase production from 1,000 units per year to 10,000
- The kits fit box trucks, commercial vans, shuttles, and half-ton pickup trucks
This is an exciting time for our industry, with ever growing outside interest. We’re speculating that Ikea’s interest in XL Hybrids is an indicator of the company’s future use of the kits in its own vehicles in the future.
With so much potential to increase fleet efficiency throughout the world, technology like this will only continue to gain traction. If you have a similar project in progress, give us a call. Our experts will help you create an ideal product and get it through EPA/CARB certification faster than anyone.