At the beginning of June, Exelon launched a utility fleet electrification effort. It has committed to electrifying 30 percent of its vehicle fleet by 2025 and 50 percent of its vehicle fleet by 2030.
Exelon is America’s largest electric parent company by revenue ($34 billion), the largest regulated utility by customer base (10 million people), and the largest competitive power generator (35,500 megawatts of owned capacity). It employs about 33,400 people. Exelon’s electrification initiative marks a major embrace of EV technology in the utility sphere and is an optimistic forecast for the future of EV adoption. Exelon Utilities CEO Calvin Butler states that,
“Exelon is committed to providing a cleaner and brighter future for our customers and communities while achieving excellent operational performance.” He adds that, “Transportation electrification holds the promise of helping the cities and states in which we operate meet their environmental goals, reduce their carbon footprint, bring cleaner air to all communities we serve and create economic opportunity through job creation and reduced energy costs. We are proud to lead by example as one of the first utility companies to take major steps to electrify our own fleet of vehicles.”
Exelon will be electrifying the vehicle fleets of its six gas and electric utilities in their six respective states: Commonwealth Edison (Illinois), PECO Energy Company (Pennsylvania), Baltimore Gas and Electric (Maryland), Delmarva Power & Light (Delaware and Maryland), Atlantic City Electric (New Jersey), and Potomac Electric Power Company (Washington, DC and Maryland). The project will use battery electric vehicles (BEVs), plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs), and vehicles with plug-in idle mitigation units.
Exelon will begin by replacing light-duty internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles at the end of their life cycles with electric vehicles. By 2030, all light-duty ICE vehicles will be swapped for EVs. For medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, Exelon will install idle mitigation units to partially electrify them for certain operations, including aerial work, lighting, heating, and cooling. Manufacturers estimate that utility vehicles spend 65 percent of their engine hours idle in park. Seeing as idling for one hour burns a gallon of gas, Exelon’s retrofitted medium- and heavy-duty vehicles will significantly reduce air and noise pollution in communities and fuel costs in the company.
Exelon’s combined fleet size is approximately 7,200 vehicles. Its efforts are estimated to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 25,000 metric tons by 2025 and 65,000 metric tons by 2030. This is the equivalent of saving 2.6 million barrels of oil or planting one million trees that sequester carbon for 10 years.
Exelon’s fleet electrification initiative couples with its existing sustainability efforts. Exelon owns or has an interest in three solar power facilities in California (Antelope Valley Solar Ranch one, Solar Energy Generation Systems) and Illinois (Exelon City Solar Plant) that generate 260 megawatts of energy. It also owns two hydroelectric plants in Maryland (Conowingo Dam) and Pennsylvania (Muddy Run Pumped Storage Facility) that generate 1,600 megawatts of energy. Between these stations and its nuclear power plants (Exelon is the largest nuclear power plant operator in the US), Exelon produces 12 percent of America’s zero-emissions energy and is America’s largest overall clean energy supplier. Exelon completed its divestment from coal in 2017 when it sold off its last coal-fired asset, a 26-megawatt interest in Utah's Sunnyside power plant. In 2019 alone, Exelon’s energy efficiency programs saved customers 22.3 million megawatt hours of electricity and avoided 8.7 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions—the equivalent of taking 1.8 million cars off the road for a year. Exelon also promotes electrification through expanding charging infrastructure, offering rebates, incentives, and innovative rates and electrifying public transportation.