Essential Utilities, a water and gas utility company based in Pennsylvania, launched a hybrid-electric vehicle pilot program in partnership with XL Fleet for its two most popular commercial GM vehicle platforms.
Essential Utilities, which serves approximately 5 million people across 10 states under the Aqua and Peoples brands, partnered with XL Fleet for the piloting of its XLH hybrid electric drive system. The pilot will incorporate a GMC Sierra 2500 HD pickup truck and GMC Savanna Express van, which are two of Essential’s most widely deployed vehicles in its water and natural gas divisions for applications including customer service, field service, and distribution.
“If this pilot program is successful, we will be able to substantially reduce our fuel costs and lower emissions by scaling our deployment of these vehicles starting next year,” said Charles Stevenson, vice president of fleet operations at Essential. Stevenson was a nominee for the 2020 Fleet Executive of the Year award.
If the pilot is successful, Essential Utilities said it plans on electrifying a larger percentage of its fleet with XL Fleet’s systems beginning in 2021.
Earlier this year, Essential Utilities detailed its latest efforts in fleet safety and operating successfully amid the pandemic.