While General Motors has experimented with hybridized versions of its full-size trucks in the past, the automaker does not currently offer a hybrid pickup. There are still some buyers that may still be enticed by the idea of a hybridized pickup truck, though, which is where XL Fleet comes into play.
XL Fleet specializes in hybrid upfit solutions for fleet vehicles and recently released its aftermarket hybrid drive system for the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD and 3500HD. The hybrid system, dubbed XLH, comprises a small 1.8 kWh lithium-ion battery and a small electric traction motor that is hooked up to the vehicle’s transmission. This upfit solution increases the efficiency of the Silverado 2500HD and 3500HD and keeps all OEM factory warranties intact. It is also backed by XL Fleet’s own 3-year, 75,000-mile warranty.
“The XL hybrid-electric system is the best and simplest way for fleets to improve MPG and meet sustainability goals without compromising on operations or vehicle performance,” XL Fleet said in a statement. “The XLH system saves fuel and reduces emissions through regenerative braking, helping to slow down and propel the vehicle during normal drive cycles. The electric motor assist is smooth and seamless to the driver.”
XL Fleet’s system is even backed by GM, which says that together, the two companies “we’re able to provide our shared customers an innovative truck solution they’ve been asking for,” in the new XLH system.
XL Fleet did not say how much of an MPG improvement the XLH upfit system can provide in the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD. According to the brand’s website, the system provides a 25 percent efficiency improvement on average, depending on the vehicle it is installed in. It may not sound like much, but when multiplied over tens or hundreds of fleet vehicles, it can help save a significant amount on fuel costs. The system adds about 350 lbs of weight to the vehicle including the motor, battery and inverter.
In addition to the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD, the XL Fleet XLH system is also available on the Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana vans and the Chevrolet 3500HD and 4500HD cutaway trucks. It is also compatible with non-GM products, including the Ford F-Series, Ford Transit and Isuzu Reach.