Electric and Hybrid Vehicles
NPPD owns three hybrid SUVs, one hybrid bucket truck and one Chevy Volt electric vehicle, along with some electric utility trucks at our power plants.
Hybrid vehicles operate on a combination of power supplied by on-board batteries and electric motor and a traditional fuel-powered internal combustion engine. The electrical system offsets some engine operation, saving fuel and lowering emissions.
Since 2007, these vehicles have saved the District more than $10,000 in fuel and have had significant environmental benefits. The Districts Hybrid SUV’s have offset over 40,000 grams of harmful Nitrous Oxide, approximately 425,000 grams of poisonous Carbon Monoxide, and over 75,000 pounds of Carbon Dioxide. The bucket truck alone has avoided over 10,000 pounds of Carbon Dioxide.
One car in NPPD’s fleet is a Chevy Volt. Initially purchased as part of a joint demonstration project being conducted between General Motors (GM), the Electric Power Research Institute, and Nebraska Public Power District, the Volt is a plug-in electric vehicle (PEV).
It showcases an equivalent of 93 miles per gallon in an all-electric mode and 37 miles per gallon in an electric-gas combination. The composite rating for the vehicle is 60 miles per gallon. The Volt has a 1.4 Liter 4-cylinder motor connected to two electricity generators and two electric motors that power the vehicle. The vehicle also has a 16 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery to store energy taken from the grid when plugged-in and from the on-board generators.
The Volt’s extended-range capability offers a total driving range of up to 379 miles, based on EPA estimates. For the first 35 miles, the Volt can drive gas- and tailpipe emissions-free using a full charge of electricity stored in its battery. When the Volt’s battery runs low, a gas-powered engine/generator seamlessly operates to extend the driving range another 344 miles on a full tank.
Cars which use electricity as a transportation fuel, in combination with gasoline for vehicle range extension, produce significantly lower costs per mile. When used as a transportation fuel, electricity costs about 75 cents a gallon equivalent.
In anticipation of the need for charging stations for PEVs, NPPD installed three units at its new Norfolk Operations Center, but regularly charges up at the Columbus General Office, where the vehicle is located.