When TEP brought three all-electric vehicles into our fleet just a year after they hit the market in 2010, they were a novelty. Now, the company plans to transition its entire light-duty and passenger vehicle fleet to all-electric or hybrid vehicles by 2030.
“It’s an ambitious but achievable goal,” said Larry Robinson, Director of Land and Fleet Services. “By transitioning from fuel-based vehicles to electric, we’ll be contributing to a cleaner environment and realizing significant long-term cost savings.” The shift is expected to reduce fuel and maintenance costs by more than $1 million over 10 years with even greater future savings.
A cross-functional company team is developing a long-range implementation plan for transitioning our corporate fleet of roughly 160 light-duty trucks and 45 passenger cars over the next 10 years. “Our goal is to have a mixture of all-electric and plug-in hybrid electric sedans, SUVs and light-duty trucks by gradually replacing gas-powered vehicles as they reach full depreciation, and accelerating the replacement of others,” explained Julie Gomez, Fleet Services Supervisor.
While electric bucket trucks and heavy equipment are not currently available on the market, it’s likely they will be in the future as technology evolves. “We’re keeping a close eye on product development and will be ready to adopt them when they’re available and have been proven in the field.”
As with the adoption of any new technology, the move to zero or low-emission electric vehicles will require adapting our facilities, as well as employee education.
“We’ll need to develop the infrastructure for supporting EVs by installing additional charging stations at our Irvington campus and headquarters and adapting our fleet maintenance facilities,” Robinson said. “With internal combustion vehicles, mechanics are looking for things like oil leaks and worn seals, but inspections for battery-powered vehicles will be very different.”
The effort will require training mechanics on EV maintenance and repair, and familiarizing employees with EVs and educating them about how their driving habits affect battery life.
The Edison Electric Institute projects the number of EVs in America will reach 18.7 million by 2030, compared with only 1 million as of the end of 2018. Because EVs produce far fewer direct and life-cycle emissions than conventionally fueled vehicles, their use benefits both our health and the environment.
EVs are also less expensive to drive and maintain. The cost to power an EV is about half the cost of fueling a conventional vehicle, with owners saving an annual average of $800 in maintenance costs.
“The market for electric transportation continues to evolve and the adoption of EVs is accelerating. We want to be ready for it,” said Robinson. “We want to serve as a model to our customers by demonstrating our commitment to a cleaner, greener environment and a more sustainable future.”
To support the adoption of EVs, TEP offers incentives for home EV chargers and special rates for EV owners. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Energy offers attractive rebates of up to $7,500 on the purchase of new EVs.
For more information about TEP’s EV programs, visit tep.com/electric-vehicles/.