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PG&E's EV Showcase Encourages Employees to 'Drive Electric'

June 29, 2016

The event featured the latest electric vehicles from virtually all major manufacturers, giving more than 450 employee attendees an opportunity to drive several models. (PHOTOS: PG&E)
The event featured the latest electric vehicles from virtually all major manufacturers, giving more than 450 employee attendees an opportunity to drive several models. (PHOTOS: PG&E)

As part of the company’s efforts to encourage employees to adopt electric vehicles (EV), Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) hosted an electric vehicle showcase at the company’s San Ramon, Calif., campus on June 17.

The event featured the latest electric vehicles from virtually all major manufacturers, giving more than 450 employee attendees an opportunity to drive everything from luxury EV offerings from Tesla (Model S and Model X), General Motors (Cadillac ELR), Audi (e-tron), and BMW (i3) to entry-level priced vehicles from Ford Motor Company, General Motors, and others.

Employees also had the opportunity to learn about the utility’s Electric Vehicle Incentive Program (eVIP), which provides a $2,000 cash incentive towards the purchase of any eligible EV or plug-in electric hybrid (PHEV) vehicle manufactured by Ford Motor Company and General Motors. Since PG&E launched the program in December of 2015, nearly 1,000 employees have taken advantage of the special employee incentives.

In addition to the test drive event, the utility also showcased one of its latest fleet electric vehicles, the utility industry’s first plug-in electric hybrid drivetrain Class 5 work truck featuring 120kW exportable power that can be used to shorten or eliminate planned and unplanned outages. Manufactured in the heart of PG&E’s service area in Dixon, CA by Efficient Drivetrains Incorporated (EDI), these vehicles are capable of providing power to up to 100 homes during an outage.

The utility deployed these vehicles for the first time during the Valley Fire last fall to provide power to evacuation camps. If PG&E were to replace all class five vehicles in its fleet with the EDI trucks, the utility would save over $3 million annually in fuels costs and reduce carbon emissions by over 19 million pounds. PG&E operates the greenest utility fleet in the nation, with nearly 3,500 alternative fuel vehicles.

“PG&E is committed to driving the adoption of electric vehicles both in our fleet and throughout our service area, and this event is an opportunity to encourage employees to adopt electric vehicles to help meet the state’s vehicle electrification goals. We believe that EVs represent the present and future of the transportation sector, based on their lower cost of ownership, reduced emissions, and are key to reducing our nation’s reliance on foreign-based petroleum,” said Dave Meisel, PG&E senior director of transportation and aviation services.

Driven by the success of the company’s employee electric vehicle incentives, PG&E recently unveiled the largest single-building electric vehicle charging installation in the state of California at its Bishop Ranch campus in San Ramon, with nearly 100 cords available for employees to charge their vehicles while at work. Overall, the company has over 400 employee EV chargers throughout its service area, with plans to add another 200 during 2016.

To encourage EV adoption among its customers, the utility offers two EV rate plans, which offer $1 per gallon equivalent home charging during off peak hours. Customers have the ability to charge their EVs on one of the cleanest power mixes in the nation, with over 50% of PG&E’s supply coming from carbon-free sources. In addition, the utility recently proposed to build a network of 7,500 public EV chargers to provide the infrastructure necessary to help the state meet its aggressive EV adoption goals.

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