Location: Huntsville, AL
Fleet Type: Utility

Narrative

Huntsville Utilities (HU) is located in Huntsville, Alabama, and is owned by the City of Huntsville. As a Municipal Utility, HU answers only to the people they serve. Decisions are based on what is best for their customers. They do not pay dividends to stockholders. Instead, they provide lower prices to their customers through a “cost-of-service” approach.

Getting Better Every Day – Huntsville Utilities’ employees personally and collectively embrace continuous improvement and diverse perspectives. Collaborating and developing their thinking, systems, processes, and technology to strengthen their work and empower a dynamic community.

The Huntsville Utilities marketing area has one of the highest registrations of electric vehicles in Alabama. Huntsville Utilities uses electric vehicles within its fleet and is investigating expanding those capabilities.

 

A Solar Electric Vehicle Charging Station is available at the U.S. Space and Rocket center. This new station allows visitors an opportunity to learn more about electric vehicles and charge their vehicle while touring the museum. This project was created by 7 States Power Corporation, The Space and Rocket Center, and Huntsville Utilities. 

Huntsville Utilities’ customers and building contractors participate in TVA’s new homes program which offers incentives to new homes constructed to TVA’s “EV Ready” specifications. Huntsville Utilities is working with the local residential construction community to see more projects take advantage of these incentives.

HU supports and has been an active participant in the Drive Electric Alabama initiative and participates as a co-leader in the DEA North Alabama Chapter. Earth Day and National Drive Electric Week EVents have been held at various locations in the market.

Huntsville Utilities’ website is an excellent source of information for its customers: https://www.hsvutil.org/community_resources/index.php

Outputs & Outcomes

Outputs:

  • HU has in its fleet one hybrid ½ ton Chevrolet pickup and one hybrid Altec bucket truck to be used in day to day operations.
  • HU utilizes their hybrid electric vehicles to acquaint customers and the public with the availability of clean, electric vehicle transportation options.

Outcomes:

  • To date, customer reaction to the fleet of hybrid electric vehicles has been excellent.
  • As the registrations of EVs continues to grow in the HU market the particulate matter, GHG, NOx, and other direct health related emissions are being lowered by utilizing electric utility vehicles.
  • For the HU owned EVs, operating costs (fuel and maintenance) have been lower than their gas/diesel vehicle counterparts.
  • The lower total cost of ownership for the HU owned electric vehicles helps off-set the higher initial purchasing cost.

Best Practices & Lessons Learned

  • HU, in its due diligence has reached out to other utilities (and their own EV owners) to better understand their experience and lessons learned driving electric.
  • HU utilizes signs, banners, and ancillary Drive Electric Alabama educational marketing tools in communicating to the public. The Department of Energy printed materials have also been used and given out at EVents.
  • The myths about driving electric need to be factually addressed to the listeners’ satisfaction.
  • It is important to provide educational material, training and outreach on electric transportation to control expectations regarding driving characteristics, charging and range.

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Huntsville Utilities Fleet Story

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