SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – PG&E unveiled a first for the utility Thursday – extended range electric pickup trucks, which the company claims have the potential to transform the way electrical outages are managed.
PG&E has become the first fleet in the world to implement extended range electric vehicle work trucks in its fleet to reduce emissions and gas usage.
The pickup trucks cost $79,000, but PG&E Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs Greg Pruett said that it still makes economic sense in the long run.
“We save about $2,700 annually just in fuel costs alone,” said Pruett. “That isn’t even taking into account the reduced maintenance requirements that we’ll experience using the VIA Motors trucks.”
KCBS’ Margie Shafer Reports:
The trucks offer an external power source, which Pruett claims will help reduce the time of outages, and someday could all but eliminate planned outages.
PG&E operates one of the largest fleets in the nation, with nearly 12,000 vehicles. Former Vice Chairman of General Motors Bob Lutz serves on VIA Motors board of directors and said that others are following suit.
“VIA has interest from FedEx, from UPS, from Coca Cola and other large public utilities such as Detroit Edison,” said Lutz. “The list is endless and, of course, includes the military.”
PG&E has taken delivery of two trucks, and will add between four and 500 per year in the coming years.
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