Washington State Utility Adds 40 Hybrid Vans

Puget Sound Energy (PSE) in Washington state recently added 40 new utility vehicles equipped with a hybrid electrification solution from XL.

PSE selected XL’s fleet electrification technology for its Ford Transit utility vans, which hit the streets earlier this year. The upgrade is expected to reduce each van’s carbon footprint by up to 20% and increase fuel economy by as much as 25%.

PSE worked with XL to upfit each Ford van with an electric motor and advanced lithium-ion battery pack, as well as the XL Link connected vehicle system. The XL Link software provides actionable intelligence from PSE’s vehicle data, allowing company officials to monitor metrics such as fuel economy, speed, idling time, vehicle drive cycles and CO2-emission reductions.

“We know our customers value the environment, so we were excited for the opportunity to reduce our carbon footprint through our fleet vehicles,” comments Wayne Gould, director of corporate shared services at PGE. “This is another step for PSE to invest in the development of cleaner alternatives and technologies.”

The XL system also allows PSE vans to save fuel through regenerative braking, a process by which the XL electric motor helps slow the van when the driver brakes, while simultaneously charging the battery. The energy stored in the battery is then used to help power the vehicle when the driver accelerates.

“Utilities and energy organizations across the country are increasingly adopting the latest green fleet technologies to further their missions for energy efficiency and carbon emission reduction,” says Clay Siegert, chief operating officer of XL. “Puget Sound Energy’s fleet initiative was a natural fit for XL’s unique electrification solution, which is ideal for improving fuel economy in stop-and-go driving conditions, increasing driver efficiency, reducing brake and engine wear, and meeting long-term sustainability goals.”

The upgrade is part of PSE’s broader vehicle electrification plan to upfit an additional 20 fleet vehicles from petroleum to XL hybrid gas/electric systems this year. All 60 of the converted vehicles will have the potential of reducing PSE’s CO2 emissions by about 1.3 million pounds annually, supporting the company’s ongoing commitment to reducing its carbon footprint by 50% by 2040.

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