Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Fleet Type: Light and Medium Heavy-duty

 

Narrative

The Pittsburgh Coalition (PRCC) began working with the Pitt Ohio and its Fleet Services Director in the 2012 to consider and evaluate multiple alternative fuels. Around 2020, they began looking more carefully at acquiring light-duty (LD) electric vehicles (EVs).  

Before that they started to update their facilities and built a new terminal in Harner, PA that was  a LEEDS Certified facility which included Windstax that generated by to a set of battery storage units that were used to run the lights and electric chargers for the electric forklift they company started to use. In 2020 Pitt Ohio started testing the use of electric yard jockeys at one of their facilities. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5AkmVL-7Aw

Pitt Ohio started installing DC fast chargers at one of their newest Leeds facilities in preparation for two new Class 7 trucks from Volvo.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5r9CQNmGtU These vehicles are used presently to deliver goods throughout Pennsylvania and Ohio. In 2022 the company has purchased two additional Ford E-Transit vans which they are using daily for small loads.

Pittsburgh Region Clean Cities works with the Vice President of Vice President of Vehicle Maintenance and Fleet Services about potential locations and vehicles availability for their company’s operations.

“The first thing about these electric trucks is that they are real. From day one we were able to put them into the operation. The drivers embraced them and customers are interested in them and how well it’s working. They can do the work of the conventional units and do the routes without modifications or changes. Although we did learn that the Volvos do have a lower ground clearance, our drivers have done a great job adjusting to them” stated Taki Darokos.

The second thing is technology is changing so fast. The 75kW direct current fast chargers we put in in the Fall of 2020 were good. The batteries on the new electric Freightliner EM2 trucks we expect to be 315 kilowatts and will have a 200-mile range versus the 264 kilowatt batteries on the trucks currently in the operation. As we look out for these longer-range trucks with 11,000 pounds of payload, we could possibly electrify 85-90% of our box trucks. Then we have to start thinking about how the operation would charge these trucks, how much power would we need, how much load will we ask the utilities for, and how much will we generate onsite with renewables. And then you have to take into consideration the waves of trucks coming in at the end of the day and how they can get into the chargers.

Outputs & Outcomes

The outputs from Pitt Ohio’s efforts are numerous but clearly include a ramping up of EV purchases, as well as moving from larger vehicles to smaller vehicles and now a potential for the class 8 vehicles. the creation of the their Sustainability report. 2022 Annual Report on Sustainability | PITT OHIO

The outcomes from this work span several layers:

  1. The GHG emission reductions from each vehicle replaced with an EV in their fleet are on the order of 70%, which is huge (and depends on the fuel economy of the vehicle that it replaced). 
  2. It helps the company make inroads toward the developed climate impact reduction goals. 
  3. More community citizens and visitors to the area see EVs at work around the area and they have been giving out information about the electric trucks to those who ask about the trucks. Electric Truck One Sheet (pittohio.com)
  4. The company has been bringing the electric trucks to events and speaking about the benefits publicizing information about EVs, which in turn educates more citizens about the benefits of EVs while breaking through perceived barriers in the minds of potential EV owners.

Best Practices & Lessons Learned

Working with a company as large as Pitt Ohio has been a great learning experience since their number of companies and goods they deliver at very degrees of service, and their ability to adjust based on weather. climate and other factors that affect their industry.  Pitt Ohio does its due diligence in learning about all the different technologies and OEM’s that make electric vehicles, and discussions with other fleet managers about their experiences. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNvUWLnXkOs

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PITT-Ohio Fleet Story

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