Ford expands modifier program for electrics, hybrids

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The hybrid cutaway.INDIANAPOLIS, IN – Ford is expanding its Qualified Vehicle Modifier program to include companies that develop and install electrified and hydraulic hybrid powertrains. XL Hybrids, Lightning Hybrids, and Motiv Power Systems have already been named as the first three developers.

Collectively, the companies will offer electrification or hydraulic hybrid options for Ford vehicles including the F-150, F-250 to F-250 Super Duty, F-650 and F-750 medium-duty trucks, Transit and E-Series vans and chassis, and F-53-/F-59 stripped chassis. They join more than 200 companies recognized to modify the commercial vehicle lineup.

“Ford supports electrification for a variety of vehicle types,” says Richard Cupka Jr., sustainability and Qualified Vehicle Modifier program manager. “There is no one-size-fits-all work truck.”

It’s only one of many steps toward electrification. The company will invest US $4.5 billion in 13 electrified vehicles over the next five years, introducing a small Sports Utility Vehicle, high-volume autonomous vehicle, hybrid F-150, hybrid Mustang, Transit Custom hybrid plug-in, and two new pursuit hybrid police vehicles.

Commercial vehicles are clearly a key target for the manufacturer. Last year, for example, Fords became the best-selling vans in the market, including minivans. “We outsold them all,” proclaimed John Ruppert, general manager – commercial vehicle sales and marketing, during a press event at the opening of the annual Work Truck Show. And, of course, Ford continues its four-decade reign as the best-selling pickup truck in North America.

But it’s also been a strong time for commercial sales overall. This February was the best month for fleet sales since the company began tracking the statistic in 1997.

XL Hybrids offers electric drive systems for the Ford Transit, E-350 and E-450 Chassis, F-250 to F-550 Super Duty trucks, F-650 and F-750 medium-duty trucks and F-53/F-59 stripped chassis, and a plug-in hybrid F-150.

Motiv Power Systems offers an all-electric E-450 and F-59 Chassis.

Lighting Hybrids, meanwhile, offers a non-electric hydraulic hybrid Ford E-350 and E-450 chassis, F-350 to F-550 Super Duty, F-650 and F-750 medium-duty, and F-59 chassis.



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John G. Smith is the editorial director of Newcom Media's trucking and supply chain publications -- including Today's Trucking,, TruckTech, Transport Routier, and Road Today. The award-winning journalist has covered the trucking industry since 1995.

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