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Pacific Gas & Electric Plug-In Hybrid Electric Utility Truck Evaluation

Photo of truck parked in a laboratory environment, with cables extending below a monitor installed on the side of the vehicle.

A PG&E plug-in hybrid electric utility vehicle undergoes evaluation at NREL's Energy Systems Integration Facility where researchers can plug in and investigate new energy technologies on real and simulated power systems to capture output power quality data from the truck.
Photo by Dennis Schroeder, NREL

In partnership with Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) and Efficient Drivetrains Incorporated, NREL is evaluating the performance of 10 prototype plug-in hybrid electric and 10 conventional bucket trucks operating in the PG&E service area.

Now in development, the innovative hybrid vehicles are equipped with batteries and electric generators that can export up to 120 kW of power enough to power a neighborhood while repairs are being made by utility crews.

NREL ran the Class 5 hybrid and conventional trucks on the chassis dynamometer at the Renewable Fuels and Lubricants Laboratory to capture energy efficiency metrics and emissions data and increase understanding of how the vehicles will function in large-scale commercial service. NREL is analyzing various vehicle parameters to explore opportunities for improving efficiency and decreasing emissions during various modes of operation

NREL results will help Pacific Gas and Electric better understand vehicle performance under controlled conditions, identify issues and requirements associated with vehicle operation, and fine-tune the design of such vehicles before expanding their use in the PG&E fleet.