Electric utility PG&E recently showcased ‘green’ vehicles in its fleet that the company claims have saved it thousands of dollars in fuel costs.
Appearing at an alternative fuel event last month, the utility displayed two of the approximately 400 trucks it owns that are equipped with bodies from equipment-maker Altec that feature that company’s electric worksite idle-management system.
The system furnishes electric power to equipment such as buckets and material handlers and, according to PG&E spokesman Jason King, has saved the utility $700,000 in fuel costs last year over the diesel trucks they replaced.
He noted that PG&E as 50 of the material handlers and about 350 of bucket trucks in its fleet.
The company also has “a handful” of all-electric Smith Electric trucks with service, flatbed, and bucket truck bodies, King said.
Among other vehicles the utility displayed was an electric truck from VIA Motors, which does electric conversions of General Motors full-size pickups, vans and SUVs. PG&E had some of the company’s pickups for a trial period and plans to add some to its permanent fleet, said PG&E spokesman Jason King.
“We have been beta-testing the VIA e-rev truck for two years, and will be purchasing more of these when they go to production later in the year,” he said in an emailed statement. He added that PG&E already has several electric vehicles, including has 55 Chevrolet Volts and 25 Ford C-Max Energi models. These vehicles are used as employee pool vehicles, he said.
PG&E hosted its vehicle display in conjunction with the Plug-In Electric Vehicle Collaborative conference in San Francisco.