Community News

Head of Fleet, Chris Dhu, with two of Essential Energy’s Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs). Image: Contributed

Future is electrifying with new plug-in fleet

Essential Energy has added eight Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) to its passenger fleet for use across its regional NSW network to drive operational efficiency, business innovation and environmental sustainability.

Regional Manager North Coast, Brendon Neyland, said the new additions to Essential Energy’s fleet were among several business initiatives aimed at responding to industry change and embracing new technology.

“Our investment in these vehicles will enable Essential Energy to deliver financial savings, reduce future emissions and improve our environmental sustainability, improving the value offered to our customers into the future” Mr Neyland said.

Essential Energy’s fleet vehicles travelled more than 40 million kilometres last year and PHEVs now account for more than 15 per cent of its passenger fleet.

“Following a trial last year, Essential Energy has progressively added hybrid electric vehicles to its pool car fleet in Port Macquarie, Tamworth, Bathurst, Dubbo, Queanbeyan, and Wagga Wagga,” Mr Neyland said.

“More PHEVs will be rolled out to other areas across regional, rural and remote NSW as the existing passenger fleet vehicles reach the end of their service life”.

Essential Energy has also installed three wall-mounted electric vehicle chargers at two of its Port Macquarie sites. The chargers connect to three-phase power and can charge the vehicle batteries at rates of up to 22kW per hour – halving charging times from previously-used domestic power points.

“The PHEV batteries can be charged quickly, ready for the next use, which reduces the potential for fuel consumption in our hybrid fleet,” Mr Neyland added.

Essential Energy’s fleet innovation and modernisation strategy includes continual assessment of new fleet products for their suitability including discussion with a range of electric vehicle manufacturers.