Courtesy of Pepco
Courtesy of Pepco

Consumers looking for opportunities to plug into alternative energy options are now more than ever turning to electric vehicles (EVs), with demand skyrocketing 26 percent nationally last year alone. The benefits of EV technology are clear: increased energy security, lower costs, and less emissions. And District of Columbia consumers are no exception in seeking out this clean and affordable transportation option that will help improve public health and protect the District’s environment.

When it comes to EVs, sales are growing in the District of Columbia. According to the United States Department of Energy, in 2016, only eight states (California, Hawaii, Vermont, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Georgia, and Colorado) had more plug-in electric vehicles per 1,000 people than the District of Columbia. The District’s rate is 1.52 per 1,000 people.

To meet that demand, Pepco and its parent company, Exelon, are investing in innovative energy technologies, including solar, energy storage, microgrids and electric vehicles and charging, that are transforming the future of energy service for customers. As the country’s leading energy services company, Exelon’s utilities provide clean, safe, and reliable energy service for more than 10 million customers.

While customers have expressed interest in EVs, many are hesitant to purchase EVs due to anxiety about the range their vehicle will travel and a lack of available and affordable vehicle charging options. Pepco is committed to working in partnership with stakeholders in the District to address these concerns.

Nationally, the Edison Electric Institute and the Institute for Electric Innovation released a report last year projecting that more than seven million EVs will be on the road by 2025. The report also says more than five million charging ports will be needed to keep these EVs charged and running.

And right here in our community, the District of Columbia’s energy plan focuses on reducing greenhouse gas emissions within the District, and Pepco can help achieve these goals through the use of clean energy and transportation technologies.

“Our customers are demonstrating their interest in electric vehicles and other alternative energy technologies,” said Donna Cooper, Pepco region president. “As an energy leader, we have a key role in helping to advance these technologies and provide our customers with choices and options on how and when they use energy.”

At Pepco, we’re a company that leads by example, and are already using EVs to power our operations. Our Mobile Messenger team – a group that delivers mail and materials between our facilities – led the charge within our company. The team travels an average of 126 miles per day, and their work is crucial to our business. Using EVs helps eliminate the refueling trips required for gas-powered vehicles, enabling the team to charge their vehicles while making deliveries at locations along their routes.

Working with colleagues on our Vehicle Resource Management and Smart Grid & Technology teams, the Mobile Messenger team helped configure the new vehicles to ensure they had enough cargo space to meet their needs. And on Earth Day last year, they rolled out their new Kia® Soul EVs. Since adding these vehicles, the team has cut costs while continuing to deliver for our business.

These vehicles are just the latest additions to our increasingly eco-friendly fleet. Elsewhere, we have incorporated hybrids and EVs into crucial operations.

At Pepco, we are continually looking for new ways to save energy and money while preserving the environment.

Sustainability is one of our core values, and we are going to keep working to safely bring reliable, affordable, and sustainable energy to our customers and the communities we serve.

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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