The Seattle Fire Department reports hybridization of its ambulances this year has significantly cut fuel consumption and emissions

Its Medic One Ford E-450 ambulances equipped with XL Hybrid’s retrofit XL3 hybrid system have over the past nine months increased mpg by 23 percent, and reducing tailpipe CO2 emissions by 19 percent.

Miles driven per gallon measures MPG while the vehicle is being driven and excludes idling time.

Reducing the city’s fleet emissions is a key goal for the city as outlined in Mayor Ed Murray’s Drive Clean Seattle Initiative.

The retrofitted ambulances have been driven more than tens of thousands of miles on Seattle’s steeply graded urban streets and in a wide variety of temperatures.

Used in 911 emergency response in Seattle’s city center, the XL Hybrids system has the same or better torque than standard ambulances.

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The results from the converted ambulances exceeded Seattle’s expectations, and the city has placed an order for up to 10 more vehicles this year, including Ford Transit vans equipped with the XL Hybrids systems for the Seattle Department of Public Utilities.

“By proving themselves in a rigorous and demanding urban duty cycle, the retrofitted hybrid-electric ambulances are a successful beginning to our partnership with The City of Seattle,” said Clay Siegert, co-founder and chief operating officer of XL Hybrids. “We look forward to expanding our hybrid vehicle program with Seattle to reduce carbon dioxide and NOx emissions, and to continue contributing to Seattle’s sustainability initiatives.”

Medic One ambulances are also equipped with XL Link, XL Hybrids’ proprietary cloud-based fleet vehicle connectivity and analytics system.

XL Link gives easy access on smartphones and laptops for fleet managers to monitor MPG performance, fuel savings and CO2 reduction, making it easy to see if sustainability goals and cost savings are being met.

The XL3 hybrid system is compatible with new and existing Class 2 to 6 commercial fleet vehicles, and can be installed in few hours.

The system is transparent to fleet operations because technology requires no fueling infrastructure, no special plugs or additional driver training.

A selling point for fleet operators is the XL3 hybrid system installation leaves the original equipment manufacturer’s powertrain and warranty completely intact.