A Chevrolet Volt is now a part of Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation’s utility fleet, and will be tested as part of a research and development program for plug-in electric hybrid vehicles. Central Hudson received the vehicle in mid-August, and it demonstrates the utility’s commitment to introducing electric technologies that provide 21st Century “possibilities” for customers.
“The Chevy Volt is a plug-in electric vehicle using advance lithium-ion batteries to power the car for up to 40 miles,” said James P. Laurito, President of Central Hudson. “It also features an on-board gasoline generator that serves as a back-up to the batteries to extend the range of the car to more than 300 miles. We intend to test and demonstrate this new technology as part of our preparations for the anticipated use of plug-in vehicles by local residents and businesses in the years ahead.”
Benefits of plug-in electric vehicles include lower operating costs and lower emissions. “Electricity as a fuel costs less than half that of gasoline, and emissions from electric generation sources are about 70 percent less than those of gasoline engines,” said Laurito. He added that studies show recharging plug-in vehicles would have little impact on the overall electric grid if recharged at night.
“The Chevy Volt is now in production and is currently available on a limited basis, so we’re taking this opportunity to test the vehicle’s performance over the four-season environment here in the Mid-Hudson Valley,” said Laurito. “We plan to share our findings on our website so that our customers may also learn of the car’s performance.”
The Chevy Volt joins eight hybrid line trucks as part of Central Hudson’s fleet of alternative-fueled vehicles. The utility’s heavy trucks also use a biodiesel fuel blend to reduce emissions.
Central Hudson will display the Chevy Volt at the utility’s booth at the Dutchess County Fair, in Building C, from Aug. 23 through 27. There, customers will find materials on electric vehicles together with other valuable information on Central Hudson’s programs and services. For more on electric vehicles, log onto www.CentralHudson.com/ElectricVehicles.