Clean Power H-GAC electric truck demonstration project kicks off.

Published on August 28th, 2013 | by Tina Casey


Texas Electric Trucks Could Run On The Wind

August 28th, 2013 by  

The U.S. Department of Energy has just kicked off an electric truck demonstration project in the Houston-Galveston area, and since it’s Texas you know there’s a potential to power those trucks with wind. TXU, the electricity supplier to Houston, already offers a 100 percent wind power option to its customers, and the project is being conducted in collaboration with the Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC), which is up to its neck in sustainability programs and offers a cooperative energy  purchasing program. So here’s hoping, and in the meantime let’s take a closer look at the project and at Smith Electric Vehicles, which is providing 30 trucks for the demonstration project.

The Houston-Galveston Electric Truck Project

The H-GAC Zero Emission Truck Project is funded through a grant from the Energy Department’s National Energy Technology Laboratory, to be administered by H-GAC. The project also involves the clean tech powerhouse Center for Transportation and the Environment, which has leveraged projects for the Army and NASA among other agencies (not to be confused with a likewise named center at North Carolina State University, btw).

The voluntary project is aimed at reducing diesel emissions from cargo transportation in the region, which is currently running in the non-attainment zone according to federal air quality standards. The goal is to attract participants to replace diesel delivery with medium-duty and heavy-duty all-electric trucks, demonstrating that the emission-free trucks perform just as well as their polluting counterparts and are cost-effective to operate, too.

H-GAC electric truck demonstration project kicks off.

At only 30, the number of trucks may seem modest, but since the program is focused on daily-use vehicles the expectation is that those 30 trucks will jointly save more than 250,000 gallons of diesel over the demonstration period of two years, while reducing green house gas emissions by 37.5 million tons of carbon equivalents per year.

As a sweetener, the trucks come with a charging station, so if you’re a fleet manager in the Houston-Galveston region and you happen to be reading this, give the folks at Smith Electric Vehicles Corp. a call.

Smith Electric Vehicles And The Electric Truck Project

Smith Electric first popped onto our radar through our sister site, which reported on the company’s electric truck promotion in Washington, D.C. back in 2009, in which it officially delivered electric delivery trucks to Coca-Cola and the utility PSE&G.

FedEx is among several other U.S. companies that have been tooling cargo around in Smith Electric trucks. Last year, FedEx took delivery of the company’s new “Newton Step Van” model, which features a walk-in body.

The trucks included in the H-GAC project feature Smith Electric’s proprietary Smith Power battery platform and Smith Drive, along with the Smith Link data tracker.

The accompanying charging station is designed to provide a full charge overnight, in about 6 to 10 hours depending on the size of the battery pack and other variables.

Let’s note for the record that Smith Electric has itself received major federal clean energy funding and ran into some financial straits last year, for which it was supposedly at risk of being labeled the “next Solyndra,” for what it’s worth. However, earlier this summer the New York Times reported at length on Smith’s efforts to start up electric truck manufacturing facilities in New York City and Chicago, and things seem to be looking up for the company.

About That Texas Wind Power

Wind power has been taking off like a rocket deep in the heart of oil country, including not only energy generation from wind farms but the biggest wind power storage facility in the US. That’s why it’s not surprising that the Houston utility TXU offers not just any old 100 percent wind power option, but a 100 percent wind power option using energy drawn from in-state wind farms.

That’s a major contribution to the local pride angle for business marketing, so while the H-GAC project doesn’t necessarily include a renewable energy EV recharging component, we wouldn’t be surprised if some enterprising fleet manager went down that road.

Follow me on Twitter and Google+.

Get CleanTechnica’s 1st (completely free) electric car report → “Electric Cars: What Early Adopters & First Followers Want.”
Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.


Tags: , , , , , , , ,

About the Author

specializes in military and corporate sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels, and water and wastewater issues. Tina’s articles are reposted frequently on Reuters, Scientific American, and many other sites. Views expressed are her own. Follow her on Twitter @TinaMCasey and Google+.

  • joseph

    Wow. This is amazing. Based on the numbers the author provides at the beginning of the article, each gallon of gas saved by these electric trucks will keep 3,000 tons of co2 out of the atmosphere. They must use really potent gas in Texas.

  • Paul Smolen

    TXU is just one of the many retail electric suppliers in Houston. There are many others. Green Mountain has been providing a 100% green option for years.

  • JamesWimberley

    Give credit too to international logistics company TNT, which has been using electric trucks since 2006.

Back to Top ↑
  • Advertisements

  • Top Posts & Pages

  • Cool Cleantech Events

    Energy Storage USA, June 15–16, San Diego, California (US)
    Only event in the United States focused exclusively on the commercialization of storage.

    American Renewable Energy Day Summit Storage USA, June 20-24, Snowmass, Colorado (US)
    The American Renewable Energy Institute (AREI) brings together thought leaders and experts to foster climate change solutions.

    InterSolar North America, July 12–14, San Francisco, California (US)
    The most-attended solar event in the US. We’ll be there– will you?

    EES North America, July 12–14, San Francisco, California (US)
    International exhibition for batteries and storage, co-located with InterSolar.

    More details are on: Cleantech Events.

  • Advertisement

  • CleanTechnica Electric Car Report

    Electric Cars Early Adopters First Followers
  • Tesla Model 3 FAQ … Answered!

    Tesla Model 3 side
  • Tesla Model 3 Review by EVANNEX

    Tesla Model 3 Review from EVANNEX
  • Tesla Model 3 Exclusive Video

    Tesla Model 3 Video
  • Tesla Model 3 Exclusive Pictures

    Tesla Model 3 Video
  • Tesla Model X Review #1 (Video)

    Tesla Model X Review from new owners Zach Shahan
  • Tesla Model X Review #2 (Pictures)

    Tesla Model X Review from Kyle Field
  • Tesla Model S Long-Term Review

    Tesla Model S Long Term Review from Kyle Field
  • Nissan LEAF Long-Term Review

    Nissan LEAF Long Term Review from Cynthia Shahan
  • Interview with Michael Liebreich

    Interview with Michael Liebreich
  • Interview with Akon (Teslas & Solar)

    Interview with Akon Tesla Model S Tesla Model X Solar Power Africa
  • Interview with Dr Nawal Al-Hosany

    Interview with Dr Nawal Al-Hosany
  • Interview with Gro Brundtland

    Gro Brundtland
  • Interview with President of Iceland

    President of Iceland Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson
  • Interview with Nick Sampson

    Faraday Future VP Nick Sampson
  • Interview with Dipal Barua

    Dipal Barua 1st ZFEP WInner
  • Interview with Jonathon Porritt

    Jonathon Porritt
  • Interview with Clint Wilder

    Interview with Clint Wilder
  • Interviews with Solar Impulse Pilots

    Bertrand Piccard Andre Borschberg
  • Check out more CleanTechnica Videos.

  • Join The Solar Revolution!

    Edison-solar-energy solar-energy-spill-nice-day
  • Cost of Solar Panels

  • Search the IM Network