PG&E was the first utility in the country to integrate this technology into its fleet vehicles and operates two different models of these trucks — a 37-foot trouble truck and a 55-foot Material Handler. It currently operates 320 of these vehicles in its fleet, with plans to purchase an additional 127 during 2013. By 2017, the utility plans to have more than 700 e-WIMS trucks in its fleet, according to a Feb. 12 release.
“PG&E continues to be an industry leader in the incorporation of green technologies in its utility fleet,” said Richard Battersby, director of the East Bay Clean Cities Coalition, in a Feb. 12 release. “This innovative e-WIMS technology will result in reduced emissions and fuel savings, which will both benefit the environment and reduce fuel consumption.”
In 2011 alone, the utility reported fuel savings of more than $700,000. Another key benefit of the technology is enhanced worksite safety, since the crews can communicate more easily without the drone of an idling engine, according to PG&E.
Increased productivity is also a bonus, since the quieter operation helps improve the utility’s ability to respond to outages at any time of the day, allowing the vehicles to be operated at extended hours that previously would not have been feasible due to noise concerns and local ordinances.
“We are delighted to receive this honor from the East Bay Clean Cities Coalition,” said Dave Meisel, PG&E’s director of transportation services. “These vehicles, thanks to their green technology, are truly cutting edge and will bring great benefits for the environment and the more than 15 million Californians within PG&E’s service area.”