Electric Transportation

Southern Company - a Leader in Electric Transportation

Southern Company is shaping and growing the electric transportation (ET) industry — both non-road and on-road by:

  • Finding ways to help customers who choose to purchase electric vehicles (EVs), such as offering lower electricity rates and programs for off-peak usage so customers can save on their charging costs.
  • Helping commercial and industrial customers reduce costs and environmental impact and increase efficiencies by using electricity, rather than traditional fuels, to transport cargo.

Our Electric Transportation Involvement



We're promoting a multitude of total electric non-road transportation and charging technologies at:

  • airports
  • seaports
  • rail yards
  • mines
  • distribution centers


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.
    — Plug-in electric bucket trucks
    — GM Volts
  • 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-togrid technologies.
  • Working with vehicle manufacturers to understand the use of electricity as a transportation fuel.
  • Working with vehicle manufacturers and EPRI to bring economically and technologically viable on-road ET technologies to the marketplace.

U.S. Department of Energy Support


Alabama and Georgia are among 24 states to receive a U.S. Department of Energy grant to support community planning for plug-in EVs and charging infrastructure. The $545,400 grant — one of the largest awarded — will benefit the entire Southeast region. The money is part of the DOE's Clean Cities initiative to help bolster public-private partnerships that advance EV technologies. A total of $8.5 million will be spread throughout 16 projects in those 24 states.

Southern Company - an industry leader

We're an industry leader in promoting electric transportation technologies for a very successful non-road program. These are a few of the highlights:

  • Electric Lift Truck Fast Charging - Mercedes & Hyundai have 300 lift-truck fast chargers — the first in Southern Company's service territory, other than airports.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Customer Coal Mine - 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 a 9-mile overland conveyor in 2013, as well as an additional 5-mile conveyor in 2014.

Why we advocate ET


On-road and non-road electric vehicles and equipment are:

  • clean
  • efficient
  • economical
  • quiet
  • creats U.S. jobs
  • contributes to energy independence

Environmental Comparision

  • Gasoline or diesel engines wear over time leading to higher tailpipe emissions. EVs will get cleaner over time as the generation of electricity continues to get cleaner.
  • Southern Company is investing billions of dollars to reduce emissions. Since 1990, we've reduced our emissions of sulfur dioxide by approximately 60 percent and nitrogen oxide by approximately 70 percent, while increasing electricity generation by more than 30 percent.

Electric Transportation



EarthCents is a Southern Company initiative designed to help customers save money and energy while reducing greenhouse gases.

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