XL Hybrids Converts Town Cars Into More Efficient Hybrids

Somerville, MA. company’s pilot vehicles have been demonstrating a 10 to 15 percent savings in fuel costs.

Published: 09-Jan-2011

The black Lincoln Town Car that Tod Hynes has been driving around Boston looks exactly like the sort of sedan that’d ferry a well-paid executive to Logan. But under the hood and stashed in the trunk is a system that has turned the gas-guzzler into a hybrid, nudging down its gas consumption.

Hynes, the president of Somerville-based XL Hybrids Inc., says the company is focused on retrofitting vehicles for customers who “drive a lot of miles in low mile-per-gallon vehicles.” He says that the company’s pilot vehicles have been demonstrating a 10 to 15 percent savings in fuel costs, and that the first commercially-retrofitted cars — they’ll mainly be Lincoln Town Cars — will save owners 20 to 30 percent a year.

XL (the name stands for “extra large” vehicles) is announcing this week that it has raised $2 million in new funding, and signed a licensing agreement with Ashwoods Automotive Ltd. in Britain, the company that makes the retrofit kit that XL will adapt for use in the States. Ashwoods has been retrofitting Ford vans in Europe with its kit (about 150 are now on the road), and XL has adapted Ashwoods’ kit for use in sedans, with light-duty vans to follow soon. XL had previously raised $1.8 million in convertible debt from angel investors; one of its backers is the Massachusetts Green Energy Fund, which has invested $300,000 in the company.

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