Start of Initiative to Familiarize Fire Departments with EVs
Furnish Them with Source of Reliable Power in Emergencies
Pacific Gas & Electric has donated a “state-of-the-art” plug-in hybrid electric truck to the City of Napa, Calif. as part of the town’s commemoration of last year’s South Napa earthquake.
The truck, developed locally in California by Efficient Drivetrains, Inc. in partnership with PG&E, combines 30 miles of all-electric driving with 350 more miles of hybrid driving range and can provide up to 40,000 volt amps (40 kVa) of exportable power.
“This exportable power is enough to power a small neighborhood and allows first responders to plug in lighting, equipment and other tools at the site of an emergency,” PG&E said.
The vehicle donation, the utility added, is part of a larger initiative to furnish a series of innovative plug-in electric hybrid pick-up trucks and the associated charging infrastructure to local fire departments. It’s also part of a larger PG&E commitment “to operate as the greenest utility fleet in the industry, with nearly 3,500 alternative fuel vehicles, including approximately 1,000 electric and electric hybrid units.”
At Least Two More
“We have not decide the exact number yet, but we are going to start with three through the end of this year and into early next year,” transportation manage Dave Meisel says of the truck donation.
“If things go well, which we think they will,” he told F&F, “we would love to see the program expanded to all of the major markets in our territory.”
“By supporting the city and first responders with new technologies like this next-generation electric hybrid truck, we are furthering our collaboration toward increasing local emergency preparedness,” said PG&E emergency preparedness and operations VP Barry Anderson said in the Napa donation announcement.
Upwards of two dozen of the EDI vehicles might be donated, says a source close to EDI. He notes that in addition to providing emergency power when needed, the trucks allow fire departments to become familiar with high-voltage vehicles of the type increasingly used as utility work trucks.
PG&E notes that on August 24, 2014, “a 6.0 earthquake rocked Northern California and the City of Napa, resulting in more than 70,000 customers losing power to homes and businesses. PG&E employees from around the state descended on the region.
“Within 26 hours, crews restored power to all customers and within days conducted leak surveys on thousands of miles of the gas pipelines, provided door-to-door customer service to more than 6,000 customers, partnered with Red Cross to provide shelter and support to local residents and coordinated response efforts with first responders to ensure safe and reliable gas and electric services to the community.”
“As we look back today and celebrate the progress made in Napa since the earthquake, we also look forward and emphasize the importance for each of us to have an emergency plan before a natural disaster occurs,” Anderson said.
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Source: PG&E with Fleets & Fuels follow-up