Puget Sound Energy is upgrading its fleet of 40 vehicles, converting them into cleaner-burning gas/electric hybrids. COURTESY PHOTO

Puget Sound Energy is upgrading its fleet of 40 vehicles, converting them into cleaner-burning gas/electric hybrids. COURTESY PHOTO

Puget Sound Energy fleet gets cleaner

New hybrid vehicles will reduce carbon emissions

For the Reporter

Puget Sound Energy has 40 cleaner vehicles hitting the streets this month. The new fleet vehicles were converted into gas/electric hybrids.

The upgrade is expected to reduce each van’s carbon footprint by 20 percent and increase fuel economy as much as 25 percent.

“We know our customers value the environment, so we were excited for the opportunity to reduce our carbon footprint through our fleet vehicles,” said Wayne Gould, director of Corporate Shared Services at Puget Sound Energy. “This is another step for PSE to invest in the development of cleaner alternatives and technologies.”

PSE is working with XL Hybrid to do the conversion, which adds an electric motor and advanced lithium-ion battery pack, as well as control software to the vehicle.

The system lets PSE vans save fuel by allowing the electric motor to slow the vehicle down as it comes to a stop, while at the same time charging the hybrid battery. The energy stored in the battery is then used to help move the vehicle when the driver accelerates.

The upgrade is part of a bigger plan to outfit another 20 fleet vehicles from petroleum to a hybrid system this year. All of the converted vehicles have the potential of reducing PSE’s carbon footprint by about 1.3 Million pounds of CO2 annually.

The conversion of these vehicles is in line with PSE’s commitment to reduce its carbon footprint by 50 percent by 2040.

See the video of the hybrid conversion.

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