NEW YORK– Con Edison is increasing the use of biodiesel fuel in its truck fleet and expanding its acquisition of green vehicles, according to www.utilityproducts.com. Con Edison's fleet of approximately 1,700 diesel trucks is using B-20 biodiesel fuel, 20 percent of which is derived from soybeans. The soy-based portion of the fuel is a renewable resource that will help the company offset almost 400,000 gallons of petroleum per year. Newer diesel vehicles also will be equipped with special exhaust filters for even cleaner tailpipe emissions.
To further the "greening" of its vehicle fleet, Con Edison plans to replace 50 of its smaller vehicles with hybrid vehicles in 2008 and is working in tandem with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and the automotive industry on the development of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). The PHEV will have the capacity to run on electricity for longer periods, only resorting to petroleum after 60 to 80 miles of travel. They also can be charged from standard electrical outlets.
Through the company's research and development department, Con Edison will continue to explore the possibilities for all-electric vehicles. Most recently, the company began a pilot program with two all-electric field vehicles for inspecting work sites, a program which could result in more widespread use.