[Video] Pickup Hybrid-Electric System Designed for Easy Installation

For landscapers focused on going green, there will soon be a way to switch a conventional gas-powered, heavy-duty pickup into a hybrid-electric model in a short amount of time.

Our sister site, Hard Working Trucks, spoke with Dave Crecelius, vice president of Echo Automotive, who said that switch will be available this fall.

EchoDrive is currently being offered as a “ship-thru” upfit that routes 2015-newer Ford E-Series and GM heavy-duty vans from the factory to a Leggett & Platt CVP installation center where the system is installed before being sent on to the customer.

But Crecelius says EchoDrive will also be offered direct for DIY installation on 2015 GM 2500/3500 gas-powered 2WD pickups.

Adding the electric-hybrid system takes about four hours that can be done by any experienced shop mechanic.

The company’s EchoDrive bolt-on hybrid-electric system, consists of a Remy electric motor and a light-weight battery storage system.  

The weight of the kit is about 300 pounds and will be in full production at the end of this year, according to Crecelius.

The installation requires bolting the electric motor to the transmission’s tailshaft, removing the spare tire to install the battery pack, and running the plug-and-play wiring harness. 

Crecelius says the Remy motor adds 226 foot-pounds of torque at launch and 40 horsepower to the existing powertrain, significantly increasing the truck’s launch performance and increasing stop-and-go city mpg by more than 40-percent. (Crecelius says the system has little or no effect on highway fuel economy.)

During the drive cycle, EchoDrive’s electric motor automatically applies torque to assist the engine using sophisticated algorithms to control the process.

Installation must be done by an Echo-certified installer. Customers may choose to use a certified partner in Echo’s nationwide installation network or get training and certification for their in-house tech(s). DIY installs without Echo training will void product warranties. 

[youtube PKIQYO3adyc&feature=player_embedded nolink]

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