Cleco unveils all-electric vehicle

PINEVILLE — Cleco Power unveiled its first all-electric vehicle Sept. 29, during a news conference at its corporate headquarters here.

Officials at the company, a subsidiary of Cleco Corp., unveiled the 2011 Ford Transit Connect Electric —a pure electric plug-in van with zero emissions and a driving range of 50 to 80 miles. It can be charged in 14 to 15 hours from a 110-volt charging station and in six to eight hours from a 220-volt charging station. Employees use the van to transport light materials and drive to cross-town meetings.

Cleco Power also introduced two additional electric vehicles at the event — a 2012 Chevrolet Volt and a 2012 Nissan Leaf.

The Volt, expected to arrive later this year, is a plug-in hybrid with a driving range of 35 miles on an electric charge and an additional range of 340 miles on gasoline.

The Leaf, expected in 2012, is a pure electric plug-in with a driving range of 100 miles.

“The addition of electric vehicles to our fleet is part of our Green Smart program to research alternative energy sources, learn how these technologies might impact our business and determine which technologies make sense for Louisiana from a cost-reliability standpoint,” said Keith Crump, Cleco Power group vice president. “As tighter environmental regulations push automakers to accelerate electric vehicle development, we want to be prepared to meet the potential demand in the future.”

Cleco Power also installed electric-vehicle charging stations at three of its offices.

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