Location: Pineville, LA
Fleet Type: Light-duty Fleet

 

Narrative

Cleco Corporate Holdings LLC  is a regional holding company headquartered in Pineville, Louisiana since 1935. Cleco conducts its business operations through two subsidiaries, Cleco Power and Cleco Cajun. Together the subsidiaries serve approximately 293,000 customers in 24 of Louisiana’s parishes as well as electric cooperatives, municipalities, an electric utility, and a nonprofit organization.

In December 2021, Cleco President and CEO, Bill Fontenot released a message announcing the company’s renewed focus on sustainability and the establishment of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) goals. Fontenot announced Cleco is, “accelerating efforts to protect the environment, manage social relationships, govern responsibly and remain accountable for it.”

In regards to protecting the environment, Cleco set a target to sustainably reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 60 percent by 2030 with aspirations of net-zero emissions by 2050. Just recently in May 2023, Cleco continued to prioritize sustainability by partnering with Louisiana Clean Fuels to host a Ride and Drive to showcase advancements in electric vehicle (EV) technology. Through Cleco Power, the company hosted this event where elected officials and business leaders got to test drive the latest EVs educating them on their benefits and capabilities. Employees in attendance mentioned they put on the EV event to show Cleco wants to “support it, raise awareness, and also support the charging network.” Of the vehicles on display, one was a new fully electric bucket truck for working on power lines that is now a part of Cleco’s fleet. Customers should anticipate an increase in charging stations across the area to prepare for the growing number of EVs on the road.

Outputs and Outcomes

Cleco has successfully integrated three fully electric EVs into their fleet, including two Ford Mustang Mach-Es for pool vehicle usage and one Ford F-150 Lighting assigned to a member of their Safety Team. The pool cars have received positive feedback from drivers regarding their drivability and performance. However, the main concern is range anxiety with EVs and limited charging infrastructure. The Ford F-150 Lighting is utilized daily as the primary vehicle assigned to a member of their Safety Team in the St. Tammany area, and feedback has been positive.

However, employees still utilize gas-powered vehicles when travel is required from the St. Tammany area to Pineville due to range limitations and lack of adequate charging infrastructure. The integration of these EVs has contributed to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and has helped to improve the sustainability of Cleco’s operations. While there are still challenges to overcome, Cleco has demonstrated a commitment to sustainability and is taking steps to integrate more electric vehicles into their fleet in the future.

Cleco has deployed one electric power takeoff unit (ePTO) but is experiencing issues with the particular manufacturer. Cleco has additional units on order from another manufacturer but the vendor supply chain delays have pushed back expected deployment. Based on vehicle delays, Cleco is moving its internal charging infrastructure deployment to 2025. Cleco has already deployed two level 2 charges at their Pineville office to charge the existing pool fleet. They do plan to install a level 3 charger in 2024.

Best Practices & Lessons Learned

As the level 3 charger will be installed in 2024 and the internal charging infrastructure will resume in 2025, this story will be updated. As of now, a lesson learned is to implement more charging infrastructure in the service areas before obtaining EVs or educate drivers to combat the range anxiety from employees.

PDF Version

Cleco Fleet Story

post contents

Read More Fleet Success Stories