A plug-and-play hybrid conversion for the Lincoln Town Car is helping the ubiquitous “black car” turn green.
XL Hybrids, a startup in Somerville, Massachusetts, has created a low-cost battery-powered electric motor that installs
on a Lincoln Town Car in under six hours, boosting power by 20 horsepower and reducing fuel consumption 15 to 30 percent.
Given that real-world fuel economy in a Town Car seeing hardcore urban duty is 13 or 14 mpg, the hybrid conversion can pay for itself in fuel savings within 24 months, says co-founder Justin Ashton. No word yet on the per-unit cost, but expect payback time to shorten as fuel prices rise.
Ford sold over 10,000 Town Cars last year, with many of them going to livery operators who are not only struggling with fuel costs, but mandates from customers and city governments to go green.