Currently, about 28 percent of the country’s GHG emissions come from the transportation sector. Electric transportation and the use of alternative fuels are increasingly cited as methods to reduce GHG emissions and other pollutants, and reduce the country’s dependence on foreign oil. We are actively involved in research and other initiatives to accelerate the development and deployment of these advanced vehicle technologies.
A plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) has a battery that charges by plugging into an electrical outlet to store electricity, providing power to an efficient electric motor to move the wheels. There are two basic varieties of plug-in vehicles. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) can run on either electricity or an internal-combustion engine, but unlike traditional hybrids, PHEVs have larger batteries that can be recharged by plugging into an electrical outlet. A battery electric vehicle (BEV) is powered entirely by electricity from the utility grid and typically has a range of 70 to 100 miles.
Research by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) demonstrates that widespread adoption of electric vehicles has the potential to reduce GHG emissions and improve air quality in almost all areas of the country. In addition, electricity is far less expensive than petroleum and is almost completely domestically sourced, which helps reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign oil.
Progress Energy is a leader in researching electric vehicle technology, with a test fleet that spans both utilities and includes 12 Chevrolet Volts, two Nissan Leafs, six Toyota Prius PHEVs, one Ford Escape PHEV and the Southeast’s first plug-in hybrid electric bucket truck. The company is working with EPRI, General Motors, Nissan, Ford and others to facilitate the integration of plug-in vehicles into the nation’s electric grid.
Highlights of our vehicle electrification projects:
Progress Energy continues to be committed to promoting the use of biofuels in our fleet vehicles. We are currently using B20, a biodiesel blend that can be used in any diesel engine application. In 2010, Progress Energy initiated a B20 program with regional fuel suppliers, which allows our vehicles to be centrally fueled on site after normal business hours.
Progress Energy also played an instrumental role in supporting a grant awarded for the installation of six biofuel pumping stations in the Asheville region. This new retail infrastructure provides biodiesel access to the public.
We will pursue opportunities for E85, an ethanol blend, which can be used in compatible Flex-Fuel Vehicles (FFVs) as retail infrastructure becomes commercially available.