Photo: XL Hybrids

Photo: XL Hybrids

A private Massachusetts college has added gasoline-electric hybrid powertrains to several of its gasoline-powered passenger vans to increase range and reduce carbon-dioxide emissions.

Vans operated by Lasell College in Newton now operate using XL Hybrids' XL3 Hybrid Electric Drive System, the company announced. The two converted hybrid vans are being used by faculty for class trips, while the shuttle bus to be launched in March will take students between classes, residence halls, and college activities.

The vans equipped with the hybrid powertrain should provide a 25-percent increase in miles per gallon and 20-percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions to the private institution, according to XL Hybrids.

The project was funded by the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources as part of the Massachusetts Clean Cities initiative, and will include passenger vans along with a shuttle bus scheduled to hit the road in March.