U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, Counselor to the President John Podesta, PG&E Corporation Chairman and CEO Tony Earley, and Edison Electric Institute (EEI) President Tom Kuhn announced two electric power industry initiatives to further commercialize electric transportation technologies during a White House event.
As part of an industry commitment to electric vehicles and clean energy, more than 70 investor-owned electric utilities will increase investment by an estimated $50 million per year, or $250 million over 5 years, to add more electric vehicles to their fleets starting in 2015.
The initiatives and the vehicle unveiling are part of a broad industry effort to accelerate the adoption of plug-in electric vehicles and technologies by utilities. A white paper released by EEI in June titled, “Transportation Electrification: Utility Fleets Leading the Charge,” offers a road map for a long-term, coordinated effort to further spur the development of electric vehicle technologies in the transportation market. The effort is led by EEI’s Electric Transportation Task Force, which is co-chaired by Tony Earley and Portland General Electric CEO and President Jim Piro.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company also unveiled the utility industry’s first plug-in electric hybrid drivetrain Class 5 bucket trucks at the event. The truck, developed by PG&E in partnership with Efficient Drivetrains Incorporated (EDI), features up to 40 miles all-electric range and “electrifies” all onboard equipment including the boom, eliminating the need to idle the truck engines while at job sites.
PG&E operates the nation’s greenest utility fleet, including nearly 1,500 electric and electric-hybrid vehicles and a total of 3,500 alternative-fuel vehicles.
PG&E and EEI also announced a new Employee Adoption and Education Initiative to encourage EEI member utilities to participate in the Department of Energy’s Workplace Charging Challenge and to help drive EV adoption among utility employees.
PG&E partnered with EDI and Altec Industries, both based in Dixon, Calif., to develop the vehicle, which was designed, built and tested in the heart of California at EDI’s plant in Dixon. This vehicle will reduce emissions by up to 80 percent compared to conventional fuel vehicles. PG&E estimates that each EDI truck will save the utility over 850 gallons of fuel per year.