Electricity powers nearly every aspect of our lives, and we’re bringing that sustainable energy to transportation, both on and off the road. By offering lower electricity rates and programs for off-peak usage, we help people and businesses reduce costs and environmental impact.
Southern Company is actively involved in research and development in both on-road and non-road electric transportation.
We work with national organizations such as the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), vehicle manufacturers, other utilities, and charging companies to produce the next generation of electric vehicles. We are testing Smart Charging strategies to maximize the number of vehicles that can be charged with our current energy capacities. We are also working with university labs to test new technologies that may maximize range from battery packs and wireless charging equipment that can charge vehicles with no cord and, one day, potentially charge your EV while you drive.
On the non-road side, we work closely with customers to implement electric transportation solutions within their companies and to evaluate the cost savings related to those technologies. We are currently testing a prototype battery unit on trucks within our fleet. This unit is designed to power trucks at customer sites with electricity stored in a battery instead of running truck engines. This will reduce fleet emissions, reduce noise at work sites, and save money on vehicle maintenance.
We have been committed to the research, development and marketing of ET since the early 1990s. We're currently:
Testing EVs and charging technologies for use in our operations.
— Electric bucket trucks
— GM, Ford, Tesla and Nissan vehicles
Studying the impact of ET on grid reliability and developing mitigation strategies to lessen or eliminate any impacts.
Helping to develop charging infrastructure standards, including standards for vehicle-to-home and vehicle-to-grid technologies, as well as fast charging and wireless standards.
Working with vehicle manufacturers so we can maximize the benefits for our customers.
Working with vehicle manufacturers and EPRI to bring economically and technologically viable on-road ET technologies to the marketplace.
We're promoting a multitude of total electric non-road transportation and charging technologies at airports, seaports, rail yards, mines, manufacturing plants and distribution centers.
We're an industry leader in promoting electric transportation technologies for a very successful non-road program. We're promoting a multitude of total electric non-road transportation and charging technologies at airports, seaports, railyards. More details below.
Georgia Port Authority - The 4th largest container port in the U.S. converted some of its diesel equipment — ship-to-shore cranes and refrigerated cargo racks — to electric equipment and lowered operating costs and emissions by reducing their diesel usage by more than 4.5 million gallons a year. The port has since converted additional equipment from diesel to electric.
Electric Lift Truck Fast Charging is available at numerous manufacturing and distribution facilities throughout our service territory.
Alabama Port Authority — The port electrified a six-month dredging project in Mobile, Ala., and reported a large fuel and emissions savings as well. EPRI estimates that more than 28 tons of emissions of pollutants per day were avoided by using electric equipment, rather than diesel equipment, for this project.
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Delta Air Lines are so satisfied with the results of converting equipment from diesel to electric that a charging infrastructure to support electric equipment was integrated into Hartsfield's new international terminal. The new terminal completes Hartsfield's 40-gate international air travel complex, which is total electric including ground support equipment.
Coal Mine Customer — The mine installed 5 miles of electric overland conveying for a coal transport route, replacing diesel conveyors. The company used to spend $5 million a year in diesel and now spends less than $1 million on electricity to accomplish the same thing. The mine also uses other electric equipment including underground hauling equipment, drag-lines, rope shovels, continuous miner equipment, and long wall equipment. The company plans to install an 8-mile overland conveyor as the operation expands.
Electric vehicles come in many forms. PEV, or Plug-in Electric Vehicle, is any vehicle that plugs in to recharge. These vehicles may or may not also have a gasoline engine on board. PEVs come in three types:
BEV, or Battery Electric Vehicle, is a total electric vehicle that stores electricity in batteries
PHEV, or Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle, primarily uses gasoline and is supplemented with electricity
EREV, or Extended-Range Electric Vehicle, primarily uses electricity and is supplemented with gasoline
Since the majority of electric vehicle drivers commute 40 miles or less each day, home charging satisfies 78 percent of the recharging needs. Additional charging locations - workplace and public locations - may add travel flexibility and build range confidence. Workplace charging accounts for about 12 percent and public charging accounts for about 10 percent of the additional recharging needs.
Provides charging through a 120-volt AC outlet. Based on the battery type and vehicle, Level 1 charging adds 2-5 miles of range to an EV per hour of charging time.
Provides charging through a 240-volt AC outlet and requires installation of equipment and a dedicated electrical circuit. A Level 2 charger can easily charge a typical EV battery overnight. Level 2 charging adds 10-20 miles of range to an EV per hour of charging time.
Provides fast charging at sites such as heavy traffic corridors and public fueling stations. A DC fast charger can add 60-80 miles of range to an EV in 20 minutes.