Corporate

Greening Our Vehicle Fleet

Dominion Greenfleet

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:

  • Reduce work site noise
  • Decrease reliance on foreign oil
  • Provide healthier work conditions for our crews
  • Test electric vehicle performance and determine potential impact on electricity demand
  • Evaluate the latest research in emerging alternative energy sources
  • Assess commercial viability of renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency tools
  • Identify green business partnership opportunities
  • Offer more green opportunities to our customers

 

Dominion Green Fleet Overview

Dominion Virginia Power hybrid bucket truckDominion Virginia Power hybrid bucket truck

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.

Electric and Hybrid Vehicles

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.

Highlights
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
Electric Vehicle Customer Pilot Program

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.

Natural Gas Vehicles

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.

Highlights
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
Biofuels

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.

Highlights

2007 Began B20 pilot test
2009 Successful pilot tests of B20 led to its use at 32 Dominion Virginia Power fueling sites
Public/Private Research Partnerships

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.

  • We have teamed up with General Motors and eight other utilities to test the Chevrolet Volt Extended Range EV and supporting charging infrastructure. To support the three Volts we received in 2011, four charging stations were installed in Northern Virginia and two more are located at our Richmond headquarters facility. Company employees are driving the Volts to facilitate data collection and analysis by GM and the Electric Power Research Institute.
  • We are also partnering with the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy, Virginia Clean Cities and several other organizations in the Richmond Electric Vehicle Initiative (REVi). A 2011 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy was used to develop a “Community Readiness Plan” to promote the adoption of EVs and associated charging infrastructure in the Richmond metropolitan area. REVi submitted its plan to DOE earlier this year and continues to work for greater market penetration of EVs in Richmond and throughout Virginia.
  • We joined the U.S. Department of Energy's Workplace Charging Challenge in 2013, a program designed to help increase the number of U.S. employers offering workplace charging for electric vehicles. We installed two separately metered electric vehicle charging stations as a pilot program at our Tredegar campus in downtown Richmond.
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