FPL Group (FPL) And Duke Energy (DUK) Announce New Year’s Resolution: Commitment To Plug-In Hybrid And Electric Vehicles

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08:38:07 am on September 24, 2009

FPL Group and Duke Energy just made a public commitment to switch to plug-in hybrids or electric vehicles. The commitment period starts January 1, 2010.  The stated goal for both companies is to have all of their new company cars, trucks and fleet vehicles switched over by 2020.

This is big news: the commitment will create a demand for 10,000 new plug-in electric vehicles, and automakers who can meet that demand could claim a chunk of around $600 million in revenues. Plus, over the next 10 years, the move should lower greenhouse gas emissions by at least 25,000 metric tons.

The companies announced the resolution at the Clinton Global Initiative’s annual New York City meeting.  In a press release, leaders from both companies discussed the impact of their commitment and called on other companies to join them:

“The more organizations that join this initiative, the more we can develop a sustainable transportation future,” said Lew Hay, FPL Group chairman and CEO. “The Clinton Global Initiative continues to serve as a catalyst for bold commitments to address serious challenges such as energy security and climate change. This commitment will help lead the way to carbon reductions in the second largest source of emissions in the U.S. economy.”

“A 10-year commitment gives us time to adopt, test and integrate new technology into fleets as a wider range of vehicles are developed,” said Jim Rogers, chairman, president and CEO of Duke Energy. “Currently, the only near-term options for available PEV supply are sedans, minivans, vans and a few bucket trucks. Over a 10-year horizon, it is expected that options will be available for most utility service categories.”

Said Hay: “This commitment will provide the transportation industry the evidence that a robust market for PEVs exists. FPL introduced the technology for medium-duty, hybrid bucket trucks and developed the concept of using biodiesel in hybrids, and we hope this initial joint commitment will encourage corporations, governments, universities and other non-profit organizations to join us in converting their fleets to plug-in hybrid or all-electric vehicles by 2020.”

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Theme : Addressing Range Anxieties.

1. The range of noticeable EVs are sufficient to meet the daily driving needs of more than 95% of drivers ((The vast majority of people (95%) drive less than 100/km a day, 82% of the respondents said they drive 40 miles or less a day, with an average daily driving distance of 27 miles.)).

As for long trip needs, all but Americans and many of developed nations have existing automobiles, in this regard, EVs are best suited to their daily use until the infrastructure comes into wide use. And people are already doing that.

2. The on-board IT system shows the driving radius on a maximum range display under the current state of charge and calculates if the vehicle is within range of a pre-set destination. And the navigation system points out the latest information on available charging stations within the current driving range.

3. In 21st century, home, workplace, or stores etc also serve as a charge station as electricity is everywhere. With a long extension code inside, just in case, riders can get help from almost anyplace, not to mention the stores to provide charge service, and many of EVs are equipped with a quick charger.

4. Unlike fuel price, as time goes by, the price of battery is expected to drop dramatically in the foreseeable future as with computer components, in that case, mounting additional battery might be not a problem. And the EVs that come in a range of 200 to 300 miles between charges are on fast-tract toward mass-market, as Batteries become more efficient.

5. Indian EV maker Reva said it has also set about addressing anxieties about e-car range, this fantastic wireless electricity/ “instant remote recharge” will be widely available down the line.

6. The vehicle-to-grid communication technology is helping the battery serve as a storage to prevent the costly blackout standing at about $90 to 100bn per year. That means utilities are shedding cost for additional storage facilities and ratepayers are selling electricity during peak demand so that EVs can make more economic sense, as we know. ((The cost of running the vehicle should be 1 to 2 cents per mile, compared to 10 cents or more per mile to run a gas car. Electric vehicles require little maintenance — no oil changes, for instance –. Better still, they can sell electricity or charge at the stores offering charge service.))

It is also in the best interest of electricity utilities that EVs are going mainstream, thereby they need to put in charge stands where needed around highways, major roads with card readers or cell phone tech.

7. I’m hopeful that the charge network will extend the select districts to nation-wide scale throughout the world, and this environment can usher in active private investings in EVs. And I remain confident that investing in charge stands could give rise to multiple times as much investing effect, so to speak, some billions of investing, this simple deployment, could call into the most-sought energy independence and solid recovery around the world.

Thank You !

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