Today, Duke Energy has a fleet of more than 12,000 vehicles and mobile equipment. To do its part for shareholders, communities, and the environment, Duke’s Fleet Services is always exploring new technology vehicles to extend useful life, and reduce fuel consumption and pollutants. To stay up-to-date with and to support this new technology, Duke Energy recently attended and was a major sponsor of the 12th annual HTUF (High-efficiency Truck User Forum) national conference. This is a premier event for the advancement in commercialization of medium- and heavy-duty hybrid and high-efficiency trucks. HTUF has been a catalyst to speeding up product development in commercial transportation.
Duke Energy purchased three of its first hybrid bucket trucks by participating in one of the HTUF projects. Currently, we use 18 medium duty hybrid bucket trucks that use 30% less fuel, provide quiet operation at the job site, and substantially reduce diesel engine emissions. We also plan to continue our efforts to bring more PHEVs to our fleet as they fit our operational needs and make it more cost efficient. Being involved with HTUF and several vehicle manufacturers across the country, Duke Energy better understands how new technology vehicles fit our fleet’s needs and also helps shape products in the best interests of the commercial transportation market.
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Chrysler has done it again! The American automaker is teaming up once more with Duke Energy to test a new line of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV). You may remember last September when Chrysler and the Department of Energy collaborated with utilities across the nation, including Duke Energy, to test their PHEV Dodge Ram 1500s. This time, we’ve partnered up for another demonstration project that will test the Chrysler Town & Country plug-in hybrid minivans.
Duke Energy received eight minivans on April 18, 2012 to begin testing in real-world city and rural environments during the next two years. In addition to the gas engine, they’re powered by a liquid-cooled 12.1 kWh lithium-ion battery that provides a range of 700 miles. They’re expected to fully charge in less than three hours using a 220-volt, Level 2 charging station. As a result, the fuel economy is expected to land between 30 and 40 MPG. Not bad for a minivan!
By participating in the project, we help Chrysler test a technology that could help us fulfill our Clinton Global Initiative commitment to purchase a 100% Plug in Electric (PEV) fleet starting in 2020. We encourage the industry to keep developing clean transportation solutions not only for our customers, but also for our own vehicle fleet.
Look for the minivans out in the field, as some of our guys use them to travel from job site to job site!
For more on the project, check out this news release.
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