XL Hybrids carved its niche in the vehicle-electrification segment by offering hybrid conversion kits for regular gasoline-powered vans, commercial trucks, and pickups.

Thus far, the Boston-based start-up has found success and a recent round of venture capital funding raised another $22 million.

Notably, Swedish furniture company Ikea Group invested in the hybrid-vehicle maker, though the total amount is unknown.

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Ikea sees potential in XL Hybrids, which has already sold its hybrid kits to Coca-Cola and California utility San Diego Gas & Electric.

The new funds will help reduce costs and increase demand for its hybrid-truck designs.

Since the company's inception, XL Hybrids has raised $50 million in venture capital and recently added plug-in hybrid vehicles to its portfolio of products.

Coca-Cola Chevrolet Express van with XL Hybrids conversion

Coca-Cola Chevrolet Express van with XL Hybrids conversion

The bulk of the company's business remains the hybrid system conversions, however.

XL Hybrids sells a kit that allows fleet buyers to "upfit" their vehicles into hybrids.

One of the company's greatest selling points is the fact it leaves the original internal-combustion engine, transmission, fuel system, and exhaust intact—the selected vehicle's original powertrain warranty remains even after the hybrid kit's installation.

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At its core, the hybrid system adds an electric motor and a lithium-ion battery, which XL Hybrids says provides "over 10 kilowatt-hours" of capacity and includes regenerative braking capability.

Recharging the onboard battery takes less than one hour with a 240-volt AC Level 2, though it's unclear how far the system can power a vehicle on pure electric power.

XL Hybrids system for GM vans

XL Hybrids system for GM vans

Despite adding 650 pounds to the vehicle's overall weight, the company asserts fuel consumption drops by up to 50 percent.

Clearly, the solution works; XL Hybrids wants to increase production from 1,000 units per year to 10,000 units.

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The company's range of products fit box trucks, commercial vans, shuttles, and most recently, half-ton pickup trucks.

Deliveries of the hybrid trucks, in particular, will ship out in the fourth quarter of this year; San Diego Gas & Electric signed a memorandum of understanding to purchase up to 110 plug-in hybrid pickup trucks from XL Hybrids between 2017 and 2020.


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