PG&E's fleet includes all-electric bucket trucks it helped design. Photo: PG&E

PG&E's fleet includes all-electric bucket trucks it helped design. Photo: PG&E

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. is joining the Edison Electric Institute’s call to urge utilities to more than double their current investment in electric utility fleet vehicles.

If reached, the goal would add an estimated $50 million of new investment in electric vehicles across the industry, and would deliver economic and environmental benefits for utilities and customers, according to PG&E..

Over the past five years, the industry has invested approximately $85 million incorporating plug-in electric vehicle (PHEV) technologies into utility fleets, or about 1.7 percent of overall utility fleet spending. PG&E and EEI are calling on companies to raise that investment to 5 percent of their total fleet investment of approximately $1 billion, starting next year.

The industry is also taking new steps to support utilities working to achieve this goal. EEI has formed an Electrification Task Force designed to provide technical expertise and share industry best practices and case studies from utilities that that have emerged as leaders in fleet electrification. This includes PG&E, which operates the nation’s largest fleet of alternative-fuel vehicles and tops the industry with 14 percent of its fleet investment dedicated to plug-in technologies.

“Expanding the use of plug-in technologies is one of the most important opportunities we have as a country to continue diversifying our energy usage and achieve our clean energy goals,” said PG&E Chairman and CEO Tony Earley. “Electrifying our fleets is about showing consumers that plug-in technology is thriving and delivers real benefits that make sense for us and our customers.”