Central Maine Power Company, 83 Edison Drive, Augusta, ME 04336 (207) 622-NEWS
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CMP Pilot Project Evaluates Plug-in Electric Vehicles
AUGUSTA, Maine, August 2, 2012 — Central Maine Power Company (CMP), a subsidiary of Iberdrola USA, has begun a comprehensive evaluation of plug-in electric vehicles (EVs). The project is the first of three EV pilot programs that the utility plans to carry out under an agreement with the Maine Public Utilities Commission.
“Considering the advancements made in electric-vehicle technology in recent years, the time is right for us to get some first-hand experience with some of these vehicles,” said Sara Burns, CMP president and CEO. “Employees from CMP field locations and corporate offices are using these vehicles daily and providing valuable feedback on their experiences.”
CMP added four plug-in hybrid electric vehicles to its fleet, including two bucket trucks and two Chevrolet Volt passenger cars, along with a fifth vehicle, a plug-in all-electric Ford Transit Connect minivan.
While the bucket trucks still use a traditional diesel engine and drive train, the booms and buckets can be operated with an electric power take-off, or PTO, for a full day once at the job site. This allows workers to shut down the trucks’ engines, saving fuel and eliminating idling noise and exhaust fumes while the work is completed.
The Chevrolet Volts can run up to 35 miles on a single charge. Once the battery is depleted, a generator continues to run the vehicle for more than 300 additional miles. While the generator is powered by gasoline, it is electricity that moves the Volt down the road.
The all-electric Ford Transit Connect van is the newest electric vehicle in the fleet, and is being used for shorter trips out of CMP’s corporate offices in Augusta.
The EVs in CMP’s fleet can be charged in about eight hours using a standard 110-volt outlet, or in less time using a “Level 2” 240-volt charging station. The utility has installed charging stations outside its corporate headquarters on Edison Drive in Augusta and at several service centers in communities across central and southern Maine.
Because charging generally takes place during the overnight hours, PHEVs support the development and use of “smart grid” functions promoted by the utility industry and Maine public policy. Smart grid technology aims to reduce electricity demand during peak hours and instead produce and store electricity, including power generated by renewable sources, during off-peak hours for later use.
Burns notes that feedback from employees who have used the vehicles has been positive.
“People have told us they like the clean, quiet, and efficient operation of these vehicles,” says Burns. “This program also supports CMP’s commitment to protect the environment and efforts to make our electric grid work more efficiently.”
CMP will continue to study emerging technology relating to PHEVs, with a goal to put more vehicles on the road in both fleet and private use.
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About Central Maine Power Company (CMP): Central Maine Power Company, a subsidiary of Iberdrola USA, is Maine’s largest electricity transmission and distribution utility. The company delivers about 9 billion kilowatt hours of electricity annually to more than 600,000 homes and businesses, representing about 80% of Maine’s annual consumer sales of electricity. The company has been ranked #1 in customer satisfaction six times by J.D. Power and Associates. For more information, visit www.cmpco.com/.
About Iberdrola USA: Iberdrola USA, a subsidiary of global energy leader Iberdrola, S.A., is an energy services and delivery company serving more than 2.4 million customers in upstate New York and New England. For more information about Iberdrola USA, visit www.iberdrolausa.com.