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FuelNewsTrucking

PG&E releases online tool for electrifying medium- and heavy-duty trucks

California’s largest utility expands electrification program with tool to help fleets understand total-cost-of-ownership

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) announced a new online tool for companies and organizations considering transitioning their fleets to electric vehicles (EVs) as California continues its push to transition commercial trucking away from fossil fuels. 

The utility’s new EV Fleet Savings Calculator allows businesses with medium- to heavy-duty fleet vehicles to explore EV investment estimates based on their fleet sizes, infrastructure, budget and other factors.

The tool, released on Wednesday, adds to a suite of services offered through PG&E’s EV Fleet program. These include new rate options for business and public agency customers as well as an EV charging infrastructure program.

PG&E’s own commitment to further electrify its vehicle fleet by 2030 includes 100% of its light- duty fleet, 10% of its medium-duty fleet and 5% of its heavy-duty fleet, the utility said.

Overcoming the cost hurdle

The new calculator comes as California lawmakers intensify efforts to phase out diesel-powered trucks by midcentury. Gov. Gavin Newsom in September signed an executive order banning the sale of gas-powered passenger cars and most heavy-duty trucks by 2045.

In June the state’s chief air quality regulator approved a landmark law requiring truck manufacturers to sell an increasing percentage of electric vehicles over the next two decades.

The success of these efforts will require buy-in from fleets, as the need to mitigate the upfront costs is among the major factors driving a fleet’s decision to adopt electric trucks. 

Aiming to do just that, the PG&E savings tool helps customers better understand total-cost-of-ownership, including incentives, energy costs, infrastructure considerations and participation in California’s statewide Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). 

After companies input information on vehicles and usage, the calculator offers recommendations for charging infrastructure, charging schedule based on fleet needs, how much they can save on fuel costs, revenue they could generate from LCFS, and estimated reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions.

New business rate

Another feature of the new service: It factors in PG&E’s new EV Rate for businesses and public agencies, as well as apartment buildings and other public locations. 

The special rate revolves around a subscription charge, which enables customers to choose the amount of kilowatt power they need for their charging stations, similar to choosing a data plan for a phone bill. 

This charge can be much lower than current rate options, and allows customers to have simpler, more consistent monthly costs.

Broader goals

Through the EV Fleet program, PG&E also builds the medium- and heavy-duty infrastructure from the utility pole to the customer meter or to the charger depending on which ownership option the customer chooses.

By 2024, the initiative aims to help more than 700 organizations deploy more than 6,500 EVs across numerous medium- and heavy-duty fleet categories.

These programs work toward California’s larger goals of 250,000 charging stations, including 10,000 fast chargers and 200 hydrogen fueling stations statewide by 2025.

Linda Baker, Senior Environment and Technology Reporter

Linda Baker is a FreightWaves senior reporter based in Portland, Oregon. Her beat includes autonomous vehicles, the startup scene, clean trucking, and emissions regulations. Please send tips and story ideas to lbaker@freightwaves.com.

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