Utility embarks on eco-fleet

Looking to reduce its carbon footprint, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. announced last week that it has purchased two plug-in hybrid electric sport-utility vehicles.

PG&E is a co-founder of the Plug-in Hybrid Development Consortium, a joint project of the utility and Raser Technologies to speed up the commercialization of plug-in hybrids. Developed by Raser, the SUV is designed to travel about 40 miles on battery power alone, allowing it to run without emitting the harmful gases that result in global warming. Hybrid technology allows the vehicle to generate electricity, increasing its range by 400 miles.

The utility’s plan is to test the two hybrids and to eventually purchase more of the vehicles for its fleet. Raser’s goal is to develop a 100 mpg plug-in hybrid.