PG&E gets first International eStar electric truck

Navistar, Inc. has delivered some of its first eStar vehicles, which the OEM calls "the only full-production, purpose-built all-electric trucks," to San Francisco-based Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E)

Navistar, Inc. has delivered some of its first eStar vehicles, which the OEM calls “the only full-production, purpose-built all-electric trucks,” to San Francisco-based Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E). PG&E is one of the nation’s largest combined natural gas and electric utilities and serves some 15 million customers in Northern and Central California.

“A state as green as California can appreciate the amazing potential of the eStar all-electric truck when it comes to clean, energy-efficient transportation,” said Shane Terblanche, gm of Navistar-Modec Electric Vehicle Alliance LLC, the joint venture between Navistar Inc. and Greta Britain’s Modec Limited. “We are excited to bring one of the coolest vehicles on the road to the people of California.”

According to Navistar, the eStar is “designed and built from the ground up to serve the large Class 2c-3 segment of the light- and medium-duty trucking market with an environmentally friendly option.” Terblanche added that “Navistar brought the eStar to market to meet the needs of responsible customers who strive to have a positive impact on the environment through energy efficiency.”

"PG&E is pleased to add the eStar all-electric truck to our diversified portfolio of alternative fuel technologies," said Ed Bedwell, PG&E senior director of state and local government relations. "This clean electricity vehicle is part of our continuing commitment to reduce the impact of our operations and improve the air quality in the communities we serve."

Navistar also announced its first eStar dealer for the California market—Riverview International Trucks, Inc., of West Sacramento.

Full production of the eStar began in May at the company’s Wakarusa, IN, facility. Navistar’s initial customer—FedEx—has four of the trucks in use in the Los Angeles area and the OEM plans to deliver 400 units to additional customers by the end of 2010.

According to Navistar, the eStar has a range of 100 miles per charge, making it ideal for many urban applications. “When it returns to its home base at the end of the day, customers can plug it in for a full recharge within approximately six to eight hours,” the company noted.

Navistar also pointed out that the eStar “transitioned from concept to reality in August 2009, when President Barack Obama visited Navistar’s manufacturing plant in Indiana to announce a $39.2 million grant funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and administered by the Dept. of Energy to develop and deploy electric trucks.” Less than one year later, the OEM said it completed testing and validation, developed and delivered prototype vehicles, and received U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and CARB certifications.

With zero tailpipe emissions, each eStar truck can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 10 tons annually, Navistar noted.

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