PHILADELPHIA - PECO has expanded its utility fleet of vehicles with more trucks to run on compressed natural gas (CNG). The two new NGVs are Ford F-350 pickup trucks modified to run on CNG.
PECO has been using NGVs since the late 1980s and has six CNG refueling stations at its service buildings in Warminster, Plymouth, Berwyn, Phoenixville, Coatesville, and Eddystone, all of which can be used by the public with arrangements made in advance, according to the company. The NGVs will be used by PECO's energy technicians in the Philadelphia suburbs.
PECO also is participating in a utility group organized by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and the South Coast Air Quality Management District to demonstrate PHEV performance. PECO is one of 50 utilities and other fleets in the program, which was awarded the $45 million competitive stimulus grant. The company expects to buy 20 Ford F550 utility trucks that will be modified as PHEVs over the next two years. The matching stimulus grant will provide up to $2.5 million for the vehicle conversions. PECO will collect data on power consumption, fuel usage and other performance as part of the industry's ongoing research into advanced batteries and charging infrastructure for electric vehicles.
With vehicles on the road 24/7, PECO's fleet logs about 11 million miles of travel every year serving customers in the Greater Philadelphia region. PECO's fleet currently includes 650 medium- and heavy-duty trucks that operate on biodiesel, a blend of diesel fuel derived from natural oils like soybean oil; 47 hybrid electric SUVs, and 16 natural gas vehicles (NGVs).
"With our NGVs and plug-in hybrids, we will reduce our overall fuel costs, become more energy independent, and support our company's environmental goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions," Flemming said.
The fleet program is one component of Exelon 2020: A Low-Carbon Roadmap, the comprehensive environmental strategy of PECO's parent company. Based in Philadelphia, PECO serves 1.6 million electric and 485,000 natural gas customers in southeastern Pennsylvania and employs about 2,400 people in the region.
Visit www.peco.com/green for more information on the company's environmental initiatives.