Greening Our Fleet
PG&E’s fleet of more than 14,000 vehicles is one of the cleanest in the industry—and we’re making it cleaner every year. By integrating the latest technology available and innovating to meet opportunities unique to our fleet operations, PG&E supports local businesses, reduces emissions and operating costs, and expands our portfolio of low-emission vehicles, from hybrid-electric bucket trucks to compressed natural gas vehicles.
PG&E’s commitment to a clean fleet begins with exceeding federal and state vehicle emissions and alternative fuel requirements. To do so, we are making significant investments in new vehicle technologies.
Federal regulations require that 90 percent of all light-duty vehicles purchased for our fleet be capable of using an alternative fuel—such as electricity or compressed natural gas—provided the technology is commercially available. To comply with California’s on-road diesel vehicle regulations, all of PG&E’s medium- and heavy-duty diesel vehicles will meet or exceed 2007 standards for particulate levels by the end of 2016, and 2010 standards for nitrogen oxide emissions by the end of 2017. PG&E is well on our way to meeting this goal: 99 percent of our fleet is already compliant with the 2007 standards, while more than 80 percent is compliant with the 2010 standards.
PG&E pledges $100 million toward clean fleet
PG&E announced plans to invest one-third of its annual fleet purchases in electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles over the next five years, totaling more than $100 million. This will add more than 750 plug-in vehicles—roughly double the current pace—and more than 150 electric vehicles to PG&E’s fleet.
PG&E, Edison Electric Institute urge energy industry to add more electric fleet vehicles
PG&E joined with EEI to urge gas and electric providers to more than double their current investments in electric utility fleet vehicles—a goal that represents an estimated $50 million of new investment in electric vehicles across the industry. PG&E and EEI called on companies to invest 5 percent of their total fleet investment, approximately $1 billion in total, starting in 2015. PG&E has committed to reaching 20 percent capital spend on electrified vehicles. This includes continuing to purchase the Chevrolet Volt when replacing passenger cars and adding the JEMS system to specific bucket-truck models.
Over and above the reduced carbon footprint and lower tailpipe emissions, PG&E has found that electric vehicles (EVs) offer a wide range of additional benefits, from lower operating costs for fuel and maintenance to extended vehicle life to quieter operations while working in our communities. Last year, PG&E invested in a number of new vehicles and technologies to green our fleet. Among other efforts, we:
- Expanded use of export-power bucket trucks. Exportable power allows a truck to power buildings or homes in a neighborhood—essentially storing and redeploying PG&E’s clean energy. Upgrades in export power technology in 2015 reduced both the size and weight of the system, allowing it to fit onto additional PG&E trucks. By the end of 2015, PG&E had seven export-power vehicles capable of exporting up to 120 kW of utility-grade power.
- Supported communities in need. During several wildfires, PG&E provided exportable power trucks to support evacuation centers and allow residents to charge cell phones and personal devices. PG&E also used the vehicles to help lighting efforts at the evacuation centers so that food service and other important activities could be well-lit for the community.
- Integrated driver feedback technology in multiple ways. We installed Telogis telematics in more than 1,000 vehicles and pieces of equipment. In-cab alerts enabled on most of these vehicles can indicate hard braking, hard acceleration and exceeding the speed limit, among other factors. Drivers are able to view their score on a linked smartphone app. This driver feedback promotes safe driving behavior and fuel efficiency, and we plan to install more than 5,000 additional units in 2016.
- Rolled out more idle mitigation technologies. PG&E worked with Altec to develop a new lithium-ion based job energy management system (JEMS) with partner ZeroRPM for our Class 5 bucket truck. The system cuts vehicle weight, increases efficiency and will lead to more idle-free hours at the worksite. It automatically shuts off the diesel engine whenever the vehicle is in park, while still providing heating, cooling and accessory power.
PG&E plugs into the energy technology of the future
At VERGE in San Jose, a PG&E plug-in hybrid bucket truck—one of the newest additions to our clean fleet—delivered power from an onboard battery pack into a temporary microgrid built for the conference. Watch a video on how the VERGE microgrid came together.
PG&E managed approximately 14,600 on-road vehicles and associated equipment at the end of 2015. Of those, about 1,500 were electric-based, 300 were powered by CNG and 1,200 were fueled by biodiesel. Our network of electric charging stations is also growing: last year we reached more than 600 charge points at about 90 locations across our service area.
We also maintain a network of 32 CNG facilities, 24 of which are open to customers. PG&E uses its expertise to help commercial customers take advantage of this relatively low-emitting, domestic alternative fuel in their own fleets.
Fuel Use Statistics
PG&E uses petroleum and biodiesel to power many of the vehicles in our fleet. The following chart shows PG&E’s fuel usage over the past three years.
|Petroleum Consumed by PG&E Fleet (gallons)||9,840,447||10,182,712||11,173,337|
|Biodiesel Consumed by PG&E Fleet (gallons) Footnote 1||175,724||175,809||160,973|
- 1. Reported as B100 gallons. Return to table
PG&E unveils ‘connected’ truck
PG&E introduced a bucket truck that features solar panels and internet connectivity via a mobile hot spot. Developed in partnership with Altec Incorporated and Telogis, the Class 5 bucket truck offers a glimpse of the very near future. Combining next-generation electric power take-off technology, and “vehicle-as-a-hub” communications technology, the vehicle will improve operating efficiency while enhancing safety and productivity.
PG&E will continue to look for opportunities to use new and emerging technologies in building a smarter, cleaner fleet of vehicles, while exceeding state and federal emissions regulations.
This includes increasing the use of the JEMS battery-powered system across our fleet and adding more idle mitigation technologies to reduce fuel consumption and vehicle noise. In addition, by adding Telogis telematics to vehicles, we can gain deeper insight into how equipment is being used and how trucks are performing.
As a member of the U.S. DOE Workplace Charging Challenge, PG&E also continues to increase EV charging access for both fleet and employee vehicles, with plans to add about 150 charge points per year over the next three years.
We will also continue to work with industry, regulators, automakers and other partners to promote the transition to alternative fuel vehicles. This commitment includes our engagement with EEI to help speed the incorporation of plug-in electric technologies into vehicle fleets. We will also continue to promote CNG, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and hydrogen for heavy-duty truck and marine transportation.