Michigan’s local energy providers are committed to innovation and a sustainable future for Michigan. That not only includes how they produce and deliver power to Michigan’s homes and businesses, but also how they use energy themselves. In recent years, that commitment has included transitioning from traditional gas-fueled transportation to vehicles powered by clean and renewable energy sources.
Natural Gas Vehicles (NGVs)
You may have heard the U.S. is in the midst of a natural gas boom, and this form of energy has many benefits. Natural gas is abundant domestically, and it is ideal for use as transportation fuel, especially since it offers a cleaner-burning alternative to traditional, gas-powered vehicles.
DTE Energy has begun replacing its service vans with NGVs, putting the company at the leading edge of NGV innovation, which will be an important part of securing our energy future.
The carbon footprint of NGVs is 25% – 28% less than gasoline- or diesel-powered vehicles. Natural gas also helps reduce maintenance costs and general wear and tear on the vehicle, is much safer, and costs significantly less.
Plug-In Electric Vehicles (PEVs)
For similar reasons, Consumers Energy is also replacing its fleet of 5,100 vehicles with alternatives, focusing mainly on PEVs. The company is investing in hybrid Chevrolet Volts and Ford Fusions, and plug-in electric Ford Transit Connect vans and construction vehicles—a move it sees as environmentally responsible and cost efficient.
Consumers Energy is part of the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) Fleet Electrification Task Force to help accelerate development of PEV technologies among utility fleets. The company is reinforcing this effort by encouraging its customers to join in on the transition; it has installed publicly available charging stations around the state and offers financial incentives.
The Road Ahead
Both of these worthwhile projects are likely to contribute to Michigan’s long-term energy sustainability, and the leadership of Michigan’s local energy companies could reach beyond our state borders, helping bring more NGVs and PEVs to highways coast to coast.