SDG&E debuts demonstraton project to study plug-in hybrid electric vehicles

First state-of-the-art PHEVs introduced to San Diego region

Jul 18, 2007

Media Contact:
Jennifer Briscoe

San Diego Gas & Electric

(877) 866-2066

www.sdge.com

 

        SAN DIEGO, July 18, 2007 – San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) today unveiled San Diego’s first state-of-the-art plug-in hybrid electric vehicles as part of a demonstration project to study the performance and potential of plug-in hybrids to improve gas mileage and reduce emissions.

        Plug-in hybrids recharge their batteries by plugging into a standard 110-volt outlet.  Because the vehicles run in electric mode more often than standard hybrid cars, gas mileage is improved to more than twice that of today’s best hybrids, up to 80 to 100 miles per gallon.  Plug-in hybrids also could cut greenhouse gas emissions in half, helping to meet California’s goals for reducing greenhouse gases, air pollution and dependence on petroleum.

        “The transportation sector accounts for more than 40 percent of greenhouse gases generated, so, once plug-in hybrids enter the market and more of them are on the road, the impact will be significant,” said Rick Morrow, vice president, customer services – major markets for SDG&E.  “Another benefit of the plug-in technology is that the distribution infrastructure for it already exists and you can find the ‘fuel pump’ in your garage – a standard 110-volt wall outlet,” added Morrow.

        In response to increasing customer interest in electric transportation alternatives, SDG&E’s Clean Transportation Program evaluated two hybrid electric vehicles for six months keeping track of gas mileage, operating costs, safety, maintenance, electricity use, metering needs and drivers’ experiences.  Once these same cars are converted to plug-in hybrids, they will be studied over the next six months using the same criteria.  The study results will be published in 2008.  Utility officials say these converted plug-in hybrids will be close to what the major vehicle manufacturers will produce commercially by 2009-10.
 
        In California, the electricity used to power a plug-in hybrid generates much less carbon dioxide than what’s produced by a typical gasoline-powered vehicle.  And, because California has the cleanest mix of electricity, we have a great potential for greenhouse gas reduction.

        The goal is to recharge plug-in hybrids during off-peak hours, when electricity use is low.  As a result, as many as 4 million plug-in hybrids could be added statewide without the need to build new electricity infrastructure to support them.

        The Clean Transportation Program addresses SDG&E’s growing interest in a variety of safe, alternative electric and natural gas transportation technologies.  To learn more visit www.sdge.com/cleantransportation.

        SDG&E currently serves 3.4 million consumers through 1.4 million electric meters and more than 830,000 natural gas meters.  The utility’s service area spans 4,100 square miles and serves customers in more than 125 communities from Southern Orange County to the Mexican border.  SDG&E is a regulated subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE:SRE).  Sempra Energy, based in San Diego, is a Fortune 500 energy services holding company.  To learn more, go to www.sdge.com.

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