Fleet Profiles Archive

All-Electric Medium-Duty Trucks Coming to SMUD this Summer

| Sean M. Lyden |
The new Class 5 trucks nudge the utility closer to its goal of zero carbon emissions by 2030. Sacramento Municipal Utility District expects to take delivery of five new all-electric medium-duty trucks this summer that will offer an estimated range of 100 to 150 miles. The vehicles will be built on the Z-19 model – […]

The State of the All-Electric Pickup Race

| Sean M. Lyden |
The state of the all-electric pickup race has changed considerably in just one year. Last January, the Ohio-based startup Lordstown Motors was poised to take the inside lane to produce the first-ever all-electric pickup with its Endurance truck. But then allegations of fraud in the spring and a subsequent Department of Justice investigation hammered the […]

An Electric Pickup to Watch: The 2022 Rivian R1T

| Sean M. Lyden |
In recent months, Ford and GM have unveiled their concept models with plans to build an all-electric full-size pickup truck beginning next year. But there’s one OEM with actual electric truck production models on the roads right now. It’s Rivian (https://rivian.com), an Irvine, California-based startup that raised $10.5 billion and recently filed to go public. […]

Planning Your Fleet’s Transition to EVs

| Sean M. Lyden |
All major automakers have recently announced their commitments to selling only electric-drive vehicles by 2035. And that shift will bring new opportunities and challenges for utility fleets. It will force you to change how you spec vehicles, manage “fueling” infrastructure, train your technicians and support crews in storm response situations. So, where do you start? […]

An Electric Pickup to Watch: The Ford F-150 Lightning

| Sean M. Lyden |
In May, Ford unveiled its all-electric F-150 Lightning pickup, joining GM, Tesla, Rivian and others racing to bring an affordable and practical battery-powered truck to the mainstream market. The truck is expected to arrive in spring 2022 with four models and two battery options. Within three weeks of Ford’s announcement, the F-150 Lightning had surpassed […]

New Best Practices for Post-Pandemic Fleet Operations

| Sean M. Lyden |
In March 2020, longtime fleet professional and UFP editorial advisory board member Matt Gilliland was tasked to lead Nebraska Public Power District’s (NPPD) Infectious Disease Prevention and Control response team. Gilliland’s team helped develop new COVID-19 policies and practices for the entire organization to reduce the risk and spread of infections and minimize operational disruptions […]

An Electric Pickup to Watch: The Lordstown Endurance

| Sean M. Lyden |
A major bottleneck to large-scale fleet electrification is the electric pickup truck – because you can’t buy one right now. That’s about to change. Brands like Tesla Cybertruck, GMC Hummer, Rivian R1T and Ford F-150 are expected to launch a full-size all-electric pickup starting this fall to mid-2022. But these models, at least initially, are […]

CenterPoint Energy to Electrify 100% of Light-Duty Fleet by 2030

| Sean M. Lyden |
In late September, CenterPoint Energy announced that, by the end of this decade, the company will replace 100% of its light-duty fleet – currently 134 cars, vans and SUVs – with plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles at CenterPoint’s electric operations facilities in Evansville, Indiana, and Houston. Officials also said the company would electrify 5% of […]

The Impact of COVID-19 on Order-to-Delivery Time Frames – and How to Respond Effectively

| Sean M. Lyden |
In early March, the coronavirus caused automakers to shut down production completely for two months. But even after reopening in late June, they’ve still had to deal with temporary plant closures as positive cases emerge. As you can imagine, COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on vehicle and equipment production schedules and supply chains, causing significant delays […]

6 All-Electric Pickups in the Pipeline

| Sean M. Lyden |
For utility fleets committed to electrification, the holy grail is to electrify pickup trucks. That’s because pickups represent the largest vehicle segment for most fleets in the industry. So, if you can electrify a wide range of pickup applications, you’ll make a huge dent in your company’s sustainability efforts. The challenge is that high battery […]

Flattening the Curve? The State of Transportation Electrification During a Pandemic

| Sean M. Lyden |
A perfect storm of geopolitical forces flooding the world’s oil supply and COVID-19 causing global governments to temporarily shut down their economies has precipitated a steep drop in gasoline and diesel prices in recent weeks. So, what does this mean for the electric vehicle market? After all, conventional wisdom says that cheap gas will put […]

Women in Utility Fleet: Mariela Perez

| Sean M. Lyden |
In 2016, when Mariela Perez and her husband visited the exhibits while attending a national fleet managers conference, very few equipment vendors knew who she was: the head of the fleet department at Duke Energy, one of the largest electric utilities in the U.S. So, you can imagine the awkward surprise for many of those […]

Women in Utility Fleet: Michele Davis

| Sean M. Lyden |
Michele Davis has loved cars for as long as she can remember. So, when her father bought her a 1968 Chevy Camaro for her 16th birthday, “I lost my mind,” she recalled. “I didn’t expect anything like that. I mean, I just wanted a car to drive to school, go to work, see all my […]

Fairfax Water: Overhauling Crew Truck Specs to Improve Safety and Productivity

| Sean M. Lyden |
In his classic bestseller, “Thriving on Chaos,” management expert Tom Peters put it best when he wrote, “Excellent firms don’t believe in excellence – only in constant improvement and constant change.” Perhaps the same could be said about excellent fleets, where you never ultimately arrive at a destination called “excellence.” Instead, you remain on a […]

Women in Utility Fleet: Holly Giffrow-Bos

| Sean M. Lyden |
In 2006, when Holly Giffrow-Bos applied for the open fleet position at East Central Energy in Braham, Minnesota, she wasn’t exactly sure what she was getting into. “Automotive is what I knew, but I really didn’t know what fleet was all about because it’s a completely different animal than the retail automotive business,” she said. […]

The Low-Hanging Fruit for Greening Your Fleet

What if you could convert the majority of your fleet to run on a cleaner-burning, renewable fuel with minimal capital investment. Would you do it? According to NTEA’s 2019 Fleet Purchasing Outlook, a growing number of fleet professionals are saying they would, with survey participants naming biodiesel as their top alternative fuel choice – and […]

Budget Talks: Why Fleet Needs a Seat at the Table – And How You Can Earn It

| Sean M. Lyden |
When it comes to fleet, senior leadership may not fully appreciate all that the job entails. “What I would often hear from folks either in finance or in the senior leadership groups was something along the lines of, ‘Every year, fleet costs go up. But I have a 2004 Honda with 300,000 miles on it. […]

The Rise of the 4×4 Service Truck

| Sean M. Lyden |
When it comes to service trucks in utility fleets, which is more popular: two-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive? According to a recent report by Utilimarc (https://utilimarc.com), a Minneapolis-based fleet management software and benchmarking company, the clear winner is the 4×4. But this hasn’t always been the case. In fact, in 2012 – just six years ago – […]

CPS Energy Makes a Big Push into Truck Electrification

| Sean M. Lyden |
In recent years, the pickup truck market has been considered by many in the utility industry as the “holy grail” for fleet electrification. That’s because pickups comprise the most significant percentage of many utility fleets. So, the more of those trucks you can switch to plug-in electric powertrains – whether all-electric or hybrid – the […]

Pioneering a Utility Drone Program

| Sean M. Lyden |
In 2015, Chicago-based Commonwealth Edison Co. (ComEd) became the first utility to be approved by the Federal Aviation Administration for operational use of unmanned aircraft systems – also referred to as UAS or drones – under certain conditions for line inspection and emergency response applications. So, three years and 250 flights later, how has it […]
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