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Essential Energy is embracing new technology and sustainability, having recently added eight Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) to its passenger fleet for use across its regional New South Wales network.

Head of Fleet, Chris Dhu, said the new additions to Essential Energy’s fleet were among several business initiatives aimed at responding to industry change.

“Our investment in these vehicles will enable Essential Energy to deliver financial savings, reduce future emissions and improve our environmental sustainability, improving the value offered to our customers into the future,” Mr Dhu said.

Essential Energy’s fleet vehicles travelled more than 40 million kilometres last year and PHEVs now account for more than 15 per cent of its passenger fleet.

“Following a trial last year, Essential Energy has progressively added hybrid electric vehicles to its pool car fleet in Port Macquarie, Tamworth, Bathurst, Dubbo, Queanbeyan and Wagga Wagga,” Mr Dhu said.

“More PHEVs will be rolled out to other areas across regional, rural and remote New South Wales as the existing passenger fleet vehicles reach the end of their service life.”

Essential Energy has also installed three wall-mounted electric vehicle chargers at two of its Port Macquarie sites. The chargers connect to three-phase power and can charge the vehicle batteries at rates of up to 22kW per hour, halving charging times from previously-used domestic power points.

“The PHEV batteries can be charged quickly, ready for the next use, which reduces the potential for fuel consumption in our hybrid fleet,” Mr Dhu added.

Essential Energy’s fleet innovation and modernisation strategy includes continual assessment of new fleet products for their suitability including discussion with a range of electric vehicle manufacturers.

Lauren ‘LJ’ Butler is the Assistant Editor of Utility magazine and has been part of the team at Monkey Media since 2018.

After completing a Bachelor of Media, Communications and Professional Writing at the University of Wollongong in 2014, and prior to writing about the utility sector, LJ worked as a Journalist and Sub Editor across the horticulture, hardware, power equipment, construction and accommodation industries with publishers such as Glenvale Publications, Multimedia Publishing and Bean Media Group.

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