Florida Power & Light, Hawaii Electric, NV Energy, and Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) were recently highlighted as being among the country's Top 50 Green Fleets by Heavy-Duty Trucking (HDT).
Rather than focus solely on total number of alternative-fuel vehicles, HDT based its criteria on several different areas.
“We asked fleets, through e-mails, posts on social media, stories on Truckinginfo.com and in our daily Headline News e-newsletter, to fill out a short online survey about their vehicles, alternative fuel and other green initiatives, and tried to choose those who were ahead of the curve in their sustainability efforts. In some cases, we relied on publicly available information. Our focus was primarily on medium- and heavy-duty trucks,” explained Deborah Lockridge, editor-in-chief of HDT.
Read below about what made these utilities stand out. (Fleets are listed alphabetically and do not indicate a ranking.)
Florida Power & Light
Juno Beach, Fla.
Florida Power & Light (FPL) owns one of the largest green vehicle fleets in the nation with 1,750 biodiesel-powered vehicles and 550 plug-in or hybrid electric vehicles. FPL is the largest user of biodiesel in Florida, using 2 million gallons annually and reducing CO2 emissions by 3,407 metric tons in 2012.
In addition, 18% of FPL’s bucket-truck fleet is hybrid or plug-in electric – saving up to 60% of the fuel used by traditional trucks, and reducing exhaust emissions up to 90% when also using biodiesel. On top of that, 92% of FPL’s light-duty fleet is hybrid or plug-in electric, reducing petroleum use by 295,000 gallons and CO2 emissions by 2,500 metric tons in 2012 alone.
In addition to being one of the largest green fleets in the country, the utility is also one of the largest fleets overall. For 2013, FPL came in at No. 177 on the Top 300 Commercial Fleets.
Hawaii Electric Light
This utility has the highest percentage of renewable power sources in the country, so it can’t neglect the green aspects of its fleet.
All diesel-fueled vehicles run on B20 biodiesel, and some on 100% biodiesel. Out of 65 Class 7-8 trucks, two are also hybrids. Out of 76 Class 3-6, six are hybrids, 59 biodiesel. Count the light vehicles, and altogether there are 26 hybrids, plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles.
In 2009, the first Kenworth medium-duty diesel-electric hybrid truck to enter service in the state of Hawaii was delivered to the utility.
North Las Vegas, Nev.
This electric and gas utility has a total of 64 hybrid units in its fleet, ranging from Class 2-7, plus 11 Class 8 electric vehicles, and 29 biodiesel trucks in Class 7-8. It has Eaton and Odyne hybrid electric powertrains and it’s currently working with vendors to use hybrid auxiliary power on all units it is currently building.
NV says it was the first to use Altec Hybrid Service Buckets with ePTO, which functions as an electronic PTO pump to power aerial devices and exportable power. Today it has a total of 30 units and 24 more ordered. This will let the fleet power units on jobsites without idling the truck. It also opened a LEED-certified shop 2009 in Southern Las Vegas.
For 2013, it was also listed as one of the Top 300 Commercial Fleets, ranking at No. 247.
Pacific Gas & Electric
San Francisco, Calif.
PG&E is a major adopter of alternative fuels, running CNG, biodiesel, hybrids, electric and propane. It’s the largest utility fleet in the nation and the largest commercial fleet in California, and more than 30% of the fleet uses an alternative fuel or a high-efficiency fuel technology such as electric hybrids.
PG&E runs close to 14,000 pieces of equipment, with more than 9,000 power units. In 2013, it was named the eighth largest commercial fleet in the country by Automotive Fleet. The fleet includes 800 CNG (100 of them heavy-duty), 50 bi-fuel or dual-fuel CNG, 950 hybrid electric, 95 electric and 1,500 biodiesel.