Fleets have so much real-world experience with alternative fuel vehicles such as electric vehicles (EVs) that they’re a great source of information for media coverage and public education. NAFA’s President Claude Masters talked about Florida Power & Light’s (FPL) commitment to purchase only electric vehicles and hybrids for its company fleet within 10 years. Masters, FPL’s Manager of Vehicle Acquisition and Fuel, recently spoke with Miami Herald about the fleet, and the article appeared in El Nuevo Herald, their Spanish language newspaper. (See Claude Master’s video interview for information on NAFA and Calstart’s workshops on alternative fuel vehicles.)
FPL and power companies across North America are switching to electric vehicles and hybrids because electric vehicles are finally going mainstream – and the cost savings and emissions reductions are impressive. While many people assume the use of alternative fuels costs more, companies typically see great cost-savings from the move.
In the article, Florencia Contesee, an FPL spokeswoman, explained how electric vehicles require 80% less power than gasoline models. “Using electricity is the equivalent of paying 77 cents per gallon with our FPL rates here in Florida which are 25% below the national average,” she said.
There is one element missing for EVs to reach mass adoption – charging stations. Power companies want to position themselves as prime electricity suppliers before charging stations are as common as gas stations, Masters said.
Fleets are serving as valuable testing sources for automakers and charging and fueling infrastructure builders. “In addition to electric vehicles and hybrids, NAFA Members have been using alternative fuels such as biodiesel, CNG, and LNG for decades,” said NAFA’s Executive Director Phillip Russo. “We even have members using hydrogen vehicles in their fleet today. Oftentimes, car manufacturers will seek out fleets to be used as test subjects for vehicles still very much in their infancy. The data compiled through fleet use helps spur vehicle development for mainstream use down the line.”