XL Hybrids, Inc., a provider of electrification solutions for commercial and municipal fleets, announced that it will begin production on the XL3 Hybrid Electric Drive System for model year 2018 Ford Super Duty F-250 pickups in the first quarter of 2018.

This will be the first time that Ford F-250 trucks can be ordered by fleet customers with hybrid-electric drive technology, according to the company. The XL3 system will be offered as a "ship-thru" upfit on model year 2018 F-250 pickups.

Orders are being taken now for Q1 2018 installation. The XL3 system will be available on the Ford Super Duty 6.2L V8 gasoline engine with a range of wheelbases, cab and bed configurations in both 4x2 and 4x4 options.

All components for the XL3 installation are located under the vehicle, leaving the pickup bed's capacity unaffected, XL Hybrids noted. The company also said the XL3 upfit will provide up to a 25% increase in mpg and accompanying reductions in CO2 emissions on these trucks used for rugged towing, hauling and utility applications.

The decision to launch XL3 technology for Ford F-250 trucks was based on demand from fleet customers who are seeking higher fuel efficiency from Ford's 3/4-ton work trucks. "Ford Super Duty vehicles are in demand by XL Hybrids' fleet customers, so we have developed our hybrid-electric upfit solution for the F-250 pickup to meet our customers' need for power and payload as well as better fuel economy," said Ed Lovelace, chief technology officer for XL Hybrids.

"We recently surpassed a landmark 50 million total combined customer road miles," he added, "and our experience in successfully supporting leading fleets informs our product roadmap."

Installation of the XL3 system "can be completed in just hours" on F-250 pickup trucks as a ship-thru upfit, according to XL Hybrids. The system leaves the engine, transmission, fuel system and exhaust system "completely intact."

Fleets maintain the complete OEM warranty on their F-250s and get a three-year, 75,000-mile warranty from XL Hybrids on the XL3 powertrain. Further, the XL3 system "requires no special maintenance, charging infrastructure or driver training," XL Hybrids said.

XL Hybrids is a qualified participant as both a technology provider and an installer in Ford's Electrification Qualified Vehicle Modifier (eQVM) program.