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USA: An Electric Hybrid Truck Designed For Utility Fleets That Can Power Your Home

If you can soup up a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, what features would you want? For some fleet managers, turning plug-in hybrids into a source for powering up construction tools or buildings during a blackout is high on the list.

That’ why Pacific Gas & Electric Co. has been helping VIA Motors to convert new General Motors trucks into plug-in hybrids with the ability to export a large amount of power. The utility, the largest in California, envisions sending a bunch of these trucks into the field for routine maintenance work and to deal with emergencies. The amount of exportable power here will be large enough to run hydraulic lifts to send workers up the powerlines to do repairs or serve as backup power for homes while workers fix faulty circuits or transformers, said Dave Meisel, director of transportation services at PG&E.

Hybrid cars offer fuel savings over time – the price of gasoline has risen and will continue to increase at greater rates than the price of electricity – as well as environmental benefits such as lower emissions, he said. As federal and states introduce stricter fuel economy and emission standards, businesses must comply by buying vehicles with more fuel-efficient engines or ones that run on cleaner sources of fuels. But alternative-fuel vehicles also tend to cost more partly because they aren’t made in large volumes, and fleet managers very much focus on the payback period of their investments.

More forbes.com

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