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FirstEnergy (FE) to Bring Electric Bucket Trucks on Road

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FirstEnergy Corp. (FE - Free Report) will soon bring its first cleaner-powered hybrid electric bucket trucks on the road, thereby offering better services to Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) customers in New Jersey. Five new hybrid electric bucket trucks are currently receiving final inspections at JCP&L line shops.

The deliveries are expected in the areas served by FirstEnergy's West Virginia utilities and Ohio Edison areas early next year. Its feature will help extend the life of the vehicle by reducing engine operation time, eliminating certain maintenance expenses and cutting fuel costs over time.

Motive Behind the Move

This move will help FE reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as hybrid bucket trucks reduce emissions using a high-capacity battery pack motor to power the hydraulic lift rather than idling the diesel engine. It is part of FirstEnergy's plans to electrify 30% light duty and aerial fleet vehicles by 2030, with a further goal of reaching complete electrification by 2050. If FE reaches its 30% target, it can eliminate approximately 10,000 metric tons of GHG emissions – equivalent to removing nearly 2,200 cars from the road each year.

FE is focused on lowering its emission levels and took initiatives to that end. The latest move is in fact a testament to that.

In April 2019, FirstEnergy released its Climate Report titled “Energy for a Brighter Future,” which uses a 2-degree scenario (2DS) analysis from the International Energy Agency’s 2DS vision. This will determine the potential impacts of reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to moderate levels for limiting the global temperature rise to less than 2 degrees Celsius.

Peer Moves

Other electric utilities also adopting measures to supply clean and reliable energy to their customers include Duke Energy (DUK - Free Report) , Xcel Energy (XEL - Free Report) and Alliant Energy (LNT - Free Report) . All three stocks are planning to provide absolute clean energy by 2050.

DUK aims to reduce carbon emissions between approximately 55% and 75% through 2035 and cut methane emissions to net-zero by 2030 for its natural gas distribution companies. By 2050, renewables are projected to be Duke Energy’s largest energy source, covering more than 40% of its generation capacity.

The long-term earnings growth rate and the dividend yield for DUK are pegged at 5.3% and 3.9%, respectively. Earnings surprise of Duke Energy in the last four quarters is 2.29%,on average.

Xcel Energy reached 51% carbon reduction in June 2021 from its 2005 baseline. According to XEL’s plan, it will achieve 85% carbon reduction and completely exit the usage of coal by 2030. Overall, XEL aims to generate 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050.

The long-term earnings growth rate and the dividend yield for XEL are pegged at 6.4% and 2.7%, respectively. Earnings surprise delivered by XEL in the last four quarters is 2.09%, on average.

LNT announced retiring all the existing coal-fired generation units by 2040 to lower emissions from the 2005 levels by 50% and 100% within 2030 and 2050, respectively. In total, Alliant Energy will replace 2 gigawatts of coal-fired generation with clean energy sources over the next few years.

The long-term earnings growth rate for LNT is pegged at 6.1%, while its dividend yield is 2.7%. Earnings surprise delivered by LNT in the last four quarters is 4.41%, on average.

Zacks Rank & Price Performance

In the past month, shares of FE, presently a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) player, have gained 2.2%, underperforming the industry’s rise of 2.7%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

One Months' Price Performance

Zacks Investment ResearchImage Source: Zacks Investment Research