With new electric motor coach, Idaho National Laboratory drives toward net zero
Newswise – Idaho National Laboratory marked a milestone in its efforts to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions with the recent addition of its first electric motor vehicle.
INL’s fleet of approximately 85 vans safely transports more than 1,600 employees a day to their workplaces at the Department of Energy’s INL site and back home. Converting the lab’s motor vehicle fleet to electric or hydrogen power is part of the lab’s plan to eliminate or offset the sum of its carbon emissions by 2031.
The lab plans to purchase six electric vans by 2026 and has approved nearly $2 million to add van charging stations.
Motor Coach Industries (MCI), a subsidiary of NFI Group Inc. (NFI), built the electric motorcar for INL.
The vehicle benefited from a long-standing collaboration between NFI and the laboratory. In 2019, an INL team helped New Flyer of America Inc., another subsidiary of NFI, validate the performance of its battery technology by charging its 60-foot transit bus with a 350-kilowatt high-power charging station . MCI also helped design a solar-powered ventilation system for the INL fleet that can save more than 10,000 liters of diesel per year.
Today, INL researchers are working with the lab’s Fleet Services Division to demonstrate best practices for other municipalities and organizations looking to adopt electric vans. “We are working with the advanced vehicle test group on where to locate chargers and, based on the existing route, how many electric buses we can operate while meeting our criteria for evacuations and winter storms,” said Ira Pray, INL Mission Support Services director. .
The range for the new electric motor coach’s 544 kilowatt-hour battery is about 200 miles. Each bus travels from 70 to 100 miles each day.
“The INL team has always been innovators in improving motor coach performance,” said Brent Maitland, MCI’s vice president of private sales and marketing. “MCI is pleased they chose our J4500 CHARGE as their first electric coach as they begin their zero-emission journey. This vehicle will provide a reliable, quiet, comfortable and emission-free ride for INL employees.”
“This electric car trainer is a huge win for INL’s Net-Zero efforts,” said Jhansi Kandasamy, INL’s Net-Zero Program executive director. “It’s a symbol for the entire lab of what we need to achieve over the next decade to reach zero greenhouse gas emissions.”
Through the Net-Zero program, the lab is committed to demonstrating to the world how a mix of zero-emissions technologies – including safe, secure advanced nuclear energy – can work in harmony with renewable energy to stem the impacts of climate change.
About Idaho National Laboratory Battelle Energy Alliance manages INL for the US Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy. INL is the country’s center for nuclear energy research and development, and also conducts research in each of DOE’s strategic goal areas: energy, national security, science and the environment. For more information, visit www.inl.gov. Follow us on social media: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.