XL Hybrids Raises $2M More, Signs Key Partnership to Retrofit Vehicles

1/7/11Follow @gthuang

[Updated 1:15 pm. See below] It’s been a busy week for Boston-area company financings, but it’s particularly interesting to zero in on some progress in cleantech.

Somerville, MA-based XL Hybrids, a startup that converts commercial fleet vehicles into hybrids, said it has raised an additional $2 million from undisclosed investors. The company also has formed a partnership with U.K.-based Ashwoods Automotive, which makes a retrofitting kit that XL Hybrids plans to use in the U.S. The news was first reported by the Boston Globe.

Last July, Tod Hynes, XL’s president, told me the company was targeting town cars, duty vans, and other commercial vehicles that travel more than 30,000 miles a year and get low gas mileage. XL’s approach is to retrofit these vehicles with lithium ion batteries, electric motors, and other integration and control technologies so as to reduce their fuel consumption by 15 to 30 percent, he said.

The company has been running pilot tests in the Boston area to prove the concept. Reached by e-mail today, Hynes says to stay tuned for more information on pilots in the coming months. He adds that Ashwoods Automotive is “one of the leading hybrid conversion companies in the world,” and that it recently won an award as the fastest-growing cleantech company in Europe. “We are working very closely with them to co-develop their system for the American market,” he says. [This paragraph was updated with comments from Hynes---Eds.]

XL Hybrids was founded in 2009 by a team of MIT alums, including Hynes. The company has raised a little more than $3.8 million to date from angel investors and the Massachusetts Green Energy Fund. XL currently has 10 full-time employees, according to the Globe report.

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and the Editor of Xconomy Boston. You can e-mail him at gthuang@xconomy.com or call him at 617-252-7323. Follow @gthuang

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