PG&E and EDI Unveil Utility Trucks Capable of Shortening or Eliminating Electric Outages

Pacif­ic Gas and Elec­tric Com­pa­ny and Effi­cient Dri­ve­trains Incor­po­rat­ed (EDI) have unveiled two new util­i­ty trucks, includ­ing the industry’s first elec­tric hybrid dri­ve­train Class 5 truck fea­tur­ing 120 kilo­watts of exportable pow­er capa­ble of pro­vid­ing pow­er to homes and busi­ness­es dur­ing out­ages

The vehi­cles fea­ture the “EDI Dri­ve” plug-in elec­tric hybrid (PHEV) sys­tem, which pro­vides up to 30 miles of all-elec­tric range and an addi­tion­al 300 miles of range in PHEV mode and an 80% reduc­tion in emis­sions when com­pared to con­ven­tion­al trucks. In addi­tion, these vehi­cles are the industry’s first to also offer both par­al­lel and series hybrid modes, allow­ing the vehi­cle to max­i­mize fuel effi­cien­cy in both high­way and in-city dri­ving con­di­tions.

In addi­tion to the fuel sav­ings offered by a PHEV, the class 5 util­i­ty work truck mod­el also offers up to 120kw of exportable pow­er, which can be used to short­en or elim­i­nate planned and unplanned out­ages. To put this tech­nol­o­gy in per­spec­tive, near­ly 80% of the trans­form­ers in PG&E’s ser­vice area are 120kW or less, mean­ing that the vehicle’s exportable pow­er capac­i­ty is “right-sized” for PG&E’s needs.

“These vehi­cles were cus­tom designed to meet PG&E’s goals of both elec­tri­fy­ing its util­i­ty fleet and to uti­lize that on-board gen­er­at­ing capa­bil­i­ty to fun­da­men­tal­ly change how the util­i­ty man­ages elec­tric out­ages,” said Joerg Fer­chau, chief exec­u­tive offi­cer for EDI. “PG&E had an extreme­ly ambi­tious vision for a new vehi­cle, and Effi­cient Dri­ve­trains Inc (EDI) was able to offer a solu­tion that met their goals.”

PG&E and EDI also unveiled a Class 5 PHEV buck­et truck that they part­nered on with Altec Indus­tries, fea­tur­ing a cus­tomized ver­sion of Altec’s Job­site Ener­gy Man­age­ment Sys­tem (JEMS). This tech­nol­o­gy allows crews to oper­ate all onboard vehi­cle equip­ment, includ­ing the boom, cli­mate con­trol, lights and oth­er aux­il­iary sys­tems off of the onboard bat­ter­ies, elim­i­nat­ing the need to idle the trucks while at job­sites. PG&E has been uti­liz­ing this tech­nol­o­gy on its Class 5 and Class 8 buck­et trucks for near­ly 5 years, and last year saved near­ly $750,000 in fuel costs when com­pared to con­ven­tion­al buck­et trucks.

“These cut­ting-edge trucks not only will help us reduce our fuel costs as well as our car­bon foot­print, but in the event of an out­age, we would be able use their exportable pow­er capac­i­ty to sup­ply elec­tric­i­ty to homes and busi­ness­es,” said Dave Meisel, senior direc­tor of trans­porta­tion and avi­a­tion ser­vices for PG&E. “In addi­tion, being able part­ner with two com­pa­nies with man­u­fac­tur­ing plants in the heart of our ser­vice ter­ri­to­ry will also help us meet our goal of cre­at­ing eco­nom­ic vital­i­ty in the com­mu­ni­ties we are priv­i­leged to serve.”

PG&E cur­rent­ly oper­ates 942 Class 5 vehi­cles, includ­ing buck­et trucks, flat beds, and oth­er ser­vice trucks. If the util­i­ty were to replace all of those vehi­cles with EDI’s plug-in elec­tric hybrid mod­els, the util­i­ty would save near­ly $3.5 mil­lion in fuel costs and reduce GHG emis­sions by over 9,000 met­ric tons annu­al­ly. PG&E oper­ates the green­est util­i­ty fleet in the indus­try, with near­ly 3,500 alter­na­tive fuel vehi­cles, includ­ing approx­i­mate­ly 1,000 elec­tric and elec­tric hybrid units.

 

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