Dominion Plans Low-Carbon Vehicle Fleet

100% electric, baby!

by James A. Bacon

In pursuit of its goal to achieve net-zero carbon-dioxide and methane emissions, Dominion Energy will transform its fleet of more than 8,600 vehicles across 16 states. After 2030, all new vehicles purchased, from passenger cars to heavy-duty vehicles, will be powered either by electricity or alternative fuels, the company announced today.

No word on how much the initiative will cost, or what impact there will be on Virginia ratepayers.

“Dominion Energy is proud to make these commitments to help lower our greenhouse gas footprint,” said Diane Leopold, Dominion Energy’s chief operating officer. “Over the years we have made significant progress cutting carbon and methane emissions in our operations to help us reach our goal of net zero. But we wanted to go even further by slashing emissions from our vehicle fleets, too, while simultaneously developing the infrastructure needed to support EV charging access more broadly.”

Dominion provided these details on how it will make the transition:

  • 75% of passenger vehicles, including sedans and SUVs, will be converted to electric power by 2030.
  • 50% of work vehicles – from full-size pickups and bucket trucks to forklifts and ATVs – will be converted by 2030 to plug-ins, battery electric vehicles, or vehicles fueled by cleaner-burning alternatives, such as hydrogen, renewable natural gas, and compressed natural gas. In the transition, the company will make use of trucks equipped with emissions-reducing ePTO (Electric Power Takeoff) systems.
  • 100% of all new vehicles – from sedans to heavy-duty vehicles – purchased will be powered either by electricity or alternative fuels, after 2030.

Additionally, Dominion said, as a member of the Electric Highway Coalition, the company will expand infrastructure to support electric-vehicle charging and alternative fuels at local offices and other facilities.

Dominion is riding the “climate change” wave for all it’s worth, phasing out its fossil-fuel plants, overhauling its electric grid, plugging methane leaks in its gas pipelines, and, now, shifting its vehicle fleet from gas to electricity.

“We know our customers and shareholders have heightened expectations about our role in society,” said Wendy Wellener, Dominion Energy’s vice president of shared services. “They are telling us that they want a company that is mindful of its impact on the world around us. They want a company that leads on clean energy. But they also want safe, reliable and affordable service. We are listening.”

Bacon’s bottom line: It’s not clear if Dominion sees a continuing role for natural gas — does compressed natural gas count as an “alternative fuel” past 2030? If so, I wonder how that will fly with Virginia’s environmentalists. As far as keeping electric rates “affordable,” I hope Virginia’s State Corporation Commission is listening, too.