​SCE Adds Electric Forklift to Its Expanding EV Fleet
January 2020
As Mauro Delgado maneuvered his forklift to pick up some spools of wire at Southern California Edison’s (SCE’s) Irwindale Corporate Warehouse, the only noise that could be heard was the sound of traffic on the nearby freeway.

Normally the noise from a forklift would drown out everything around it, but Delgado was driving one of SCE’s new all-electric models.

“It’s so much quieter,” said Delgado, an SCE material handler who loads some materials using one of the new electric forklifts.

Besides being quieter for the operator, electric forklifts have zero emissions, which contribute to SCE’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gases and air pollution. In Pathway 2045, SCE’s analysis of what must be done to meet California’s 2045 climate goals, the electric company determined the state will need to electrify 33 percent of heavy-duty vehicles, 66 percent of medium-duty vehicles, and 76 percent of passenger cars.

SCE has been a longtime proponent of electric vehicles. In 2014, the company joined the Edison Electric Institute’s industry initiative to commit at least 5 percent of its fleet acquisition dollars every year to electric vehicles including forklifts.

Last year, 469 of SCE’s light-, medium-, and heavy-duty and off-road vehicles were plug-in electric, about 9 percent of the company’s total fleet. California’s 2030 interim climate goal is for electrification of 30 percent of all light-duty vehicles; SCE expects to exceed that target.

“It’s Edison’s goal to be a leader in electric vehicle electrification,” said Todd Carlson, SCE principal manager in Transportation Services. “We want to lead by example.”

Electric forklifts are a relative newcomer to some of SCE’s locations. Carlson said electric forklifts as a technology emerged in 1915, but operational concerns regarding charging, where and how the forklifts would be used, and costs previously limited SCE from adopting them across its service area.

Over the years, however, the technology has improved. Newer electric forklifts have extended battery power if needed. Electric vehicles like forklifts also are often more economical because electricity is cheaper than diesel or propane and the vehicles require less maintenance than a combustion engine. They also come with the clean energy bonus of zero emissions.

SCE has gradually been replacing its 310 forklifts with electric models. About a third of the SCE forklift fleet — 135 — are now electric with more on the way this year.

Read the original article by Energized by Edison writer Mary Ann Milbourn on SCE’s website here​.