While renewable power and efficiency are top-tier priorities for utilities in this age of energy innovation, insufficient infrastructure and power outages are an equally important concern. California utility PG&E has met this need with an innovative technology.

PG&E has deployed its first Class 6 plug-in electric hybrid truck, which features technology that has the potential to fundamentally change how the utility manages planned and unplanned outages.


Developed in conjunction with Efficient Drivetrains Inc. (EDI), the work truck features a plug-in electric hybrid drivetrain that combines up to 50 miles of all-electric driving with 300 more miles of driving range in hybrid mode. The result, according to PG&E, is a flatbed truck that reduces emissions by 80 percent compared to conventional vehicles.


What makes the truck even more unique is an exportable power capacity of up to 160 kilowatts. The utility said that, by harnessing the power of the onboard batteries, the truck can power up to 125 homes, potentially eliminating planned outages and shortening unplanned outages.


While powering homes would be the primary objective, PG&E said that the trucks could also power up 40 electric vehicles, 10,000 cell phone chargers, or more than 80 of the utility’s own transformers.


The truck will be used to haul transformers and other materials. PG&E has accepted delivery of two of the units.


PG&E and EDI previously partnered on the development and implementation of two different Class 5 plug-in electric hybrid truck models in 2014. The Class 6 vehicle offers 25 percent more exportable power capacity than those models, while maintaining the same electric driving range on a larger platform truck.