We are integrating more electric, hybrid, and other alternative-fuel vehicles into the Dominion fleet. This Green Fleet initiative is part of our sustainability commitment to reduce our environmental footprint and invest in the technologies of tomorrow.
In addition to the fuel savings and environmental benefits, we invest in alternative vehicle technologies to:
Alternative vehicle technologies make up nearly 30 percent of Dominion’s on-road fleet, which totals approximately 5,700 cars and trucks. Our Green Fleet is comprised of electric, natural gas, and biodiesel vehicles.
More than 800 vehicles in our fleet are powered by B20 biodiesel fuel, and approximately 250 run on compressed natural gas (CNG). Electric technologies make up a smaller but growing portion of our fuel-diverse fleet.
The latest facts and figures on our Green Fleet portfolio are found in Dominion's Citizenship & Sustainability Report.
Our electric fleet is made up of four vehicle types: hybrid electric, plug-in hybrid electric, electric, and electric & diesel. We are continually adding electric vehicles (EVs) to reduce our carbon footprint, cut fuel use and test the value of this clean technology in densely-populated areas of our Virginia service territory. The EVs run off of a large lithium ion battery pack, with a range of 40 to 100 miles per charge. We expect annual fuel savings in excess of $900 per vehicle.
In 2012, we purchased four utility service trucks that use hybrid electric technology to operate the boom when servicing power lines. In addition to the fuel savings and environmental benefits, the hybrid technology offers lower maintenance costs, less noise at service calls, and healthier work conditions for our line crews.
|2008||Began incorporating hybrid electric cars into on-road fleet|
|2009||Dominion Virginia Power adds plug-in electric hybrid cars and hybrid-powered bucket trucks to service fleet|
|Installed Virginia's first complimentary electric vehicle charging station in partnership with the Commonwealth of Virginia|
|2010||Announced collaboration with Ford to prepare Virginia's market for electric vehicles|
|Installed four charging stations in Northern Virginia|
|2011||Expanded our electric fleet to include the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt|
|Teamed up with General Motors and eight other utilities to test the Chevrolet Volt Extended Range EV and supporting charging infrastructure|
In Dominion's home state of Virginia, there is a very active emerging market for electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). We estimate that the EV market has the potential to grow to 86,000, or about 5 percent, of all vehicle sales in Virginia by 2020.
Beginning in 2011, Dominion Virginia Power customers who drive EVs have been able to take advantage of special charging rates through a pilot program approved by state regulators. The pilot program is limited to 1,500 customers and will run through November 30, 2014. Data and information gathered from the pilot will help us determine the most sustainable course for supporting electric vehicle charging in the future.
The pilot program provides customers with two discounted rate options:
• An “electric vehicle only” rate option, which involves having a second, dedicated meter installed at the customer’s house to measure the amount of electricity used to charge a car or truck. Charging prices will be lower during the nighttime hours when power demand is reduced. At these lower “off-peak” prices, we estimate it will cost customers about 54 cents to charge a vehicle overnight for a 40-mile commute.
• A “whole house” rate option, which allows customers to take advantage of lower prices for power used by all of their household appliances, including the EV charger, during off-peak hours. Special meters will be installed to measure when, as well as how much, energy is used by the home. Under this rate option, electricity for a 40-mile commute will cost between 51 and 61 cents, depending on the season.
Dominion’s natural gas utilities in Ohio and West Virginia operate approximately 250 natural gas-fueled cars and trucks. These are primarily light- and medium-duty pickup trucks, at 22 locations in Ohio. The compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling these vehicles displaces the equivalent of 360,000 gallons of gasoline a year.
The use of CNG in light-duty pickup trucks typically requires 87 percent less gasoline than regular, gasoline-fueled light-duty pickup trucks. Over the past decade, we estimate that our NGV fleet has displaced a total of about 2.4 million gallons of gasoline.
|2000||Dominion acquires Consolidated Natural Gas Company and one of West Virginia’s largest fleets of natural gas-powered vehicles|
|2008||Dominion East Ohio converts 150 company trucks to run on clean-burning natural gas|
|2009||Converted 77 trucks to run on CNG; acquired 10 natural gas sedans to add to Green Fleet|
We began testing B20 biodiesel fuel, a blend suitable for any diesel engine, in our Dominion Virginia Power fleet in 2007. Since then, we have used more than 5.5 million gallons of B20 at 32 locations in Virginia and North Carolina. Almost 1,000 Dominion service vehicles currently operate on biodiesel fuel every day.
|2007||Began B20 pilot test|
|2009||Successful pilot tests of B20 led to its use at 32 Dominion Virginia Power fueling sites|
We are partnering in several public/private research initiatives to test hybrid EVs, collect data and evaluate opportunities to incorporate them into our vehicle fleet.