FPL and Duke Energy to Commit $600M to Electric-Powered Vehicle Fleets

FPL and Duke Energy to Commit $600M to Electric-Powered Vehicle Fleets

Bucket truck -- CC licensed by Flickr user srqpix

Two of the largest electric utilities in the U.S. announced their commitment this week to dramatically increase their use of plug-in electric hybrid (PHEV) and electric vehicles in their fleets, with a goal that all new vehicles will be electric or hybrid by 2020.

Duke Energy and Florida Power and Light (FPL) will spend upwards of $600 million over the next 10 years to introduce more than 10,000 plug-in hybrid or electric vehicles to their fleets. The pair announced the joint commitment during the fifth annual Clinton Global Initiative in New York City this week, calling for other organizations to make their fleets more efficient.

“A 10-year commitment gives us time to adopt, test and integrate new technology into fleets as a wider range of vehicles are developed,” Jim Rogers, Duke Energy’s chairman, president and CEO, said in a statement. “Currently, the only near-term options for available PEV (plug-in electric vehcile) supply are sedans, minivans, vans and a few bucket trucks. Over a 10-year horizon, it is expected that options will be available for most utility service categories.”

The initiative begins Jan.1. In addition to passenger vehicles and smaller trucks, FPL and Duke will work with manufacturers to test and measure the performance of bucket truck prototypes in 2011 and 2012, before the transition of the full fleet. The project will end Dec. 31, 2020.

According to FPL and Duke, plug-in electric vehicles emit up to 70 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than their conventional counterparts, or 100 percent fewer if charged with zero-carbon energy.

The announcement follows another high-profile fleet commitment this year by AT&T, which will add about 15,000 compressed natural gas (CNG), gasoline-electric hybrid and next generation alternative fuel vehicles to its fleet over the next decade.

AT&T will spend up to $565 million on the initiative, AT&T said in March.

Photo CC-licensed by Flickr user Nautical9.