XL Hybrids Inc., a hybrid electric powertrain developer, and Johnson Controls, a battery developer for start-stop, hybrid and electric vehicles, have signed an agreement in which Johnson Controls will supply lithium-ion battery packs for hybrid powertrains for light-duty vehicles used by commercial fleets.

XL Hybrids provides hybrid-electric powertrains for the Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana vans, as wells as hybrid powertrain conversions for a range of models.

The battery pack Johnson Controls is supplying provides 1.8 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy storage, a peak discharge power rating of 50 kW, and a nominal voltage of 260V, according to the company. Johnson Controls is developing the battery pack at its manufacturing facility in Holland, Mich.

XL Hybrids said that by integrating Johnson Controls’ battery pack, the hybrid powertrain can reduce fuel consumption by up to 21% on urban routes in comparison to gasoline-fueled vehicles. The hybrid Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana vans featuring the 1.8 kWh battery pack from Johnson Controls will go on sale in 2013.

According to XL Hybrids, the company has sold hybrid Chevrolet Express vans to large fleets in the U.S. as part of pilot programs, though the company declined to specify which fleets are involved with those programs.

XL Hybrids stated it plans to expand its hybrid system offerings by to the “most popular” pickup trucks and vans.

Read here a Business Fleet guest editorial from XL Hybrids' Clay Siegert, VP of supply chain: "Hybrids: For Commercial Fleets, Cost-Effective Bridge to Electric Vehicle Future."