Permian Basin oil and natural gas operators and oilfield services companies curious about fleet electrification can try out fully electric pickup trucks under a pilot program launched by Merge Electric Fleet Solutions.

“It’s not realistic to replace 100% of the trucks in a corporate fleet immediately, especially in a geographic area as big as the Permian Basin,” said CEO Glen Stancil. “However, a pilot program like this one will help oil and gas companies focus on the routes, drivers and vehicles in their fleets that are ready to be fully electric.”

According to the International Energy Agency, 10% of electric vehicle sales worldwide in 2021 were in the United States.

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Under the Midland Pilot Program that began in late September, qualified companies can rent two Ford F-150 Lightning electric pickups for 31 day. The West Texas rental program, reportedly the first such pilot in the region, also includes access to a charging hub in the Midland-Odessa area.

For the week ending Sept. 23, Baker Hughes Co. reported that 54% of Lower 48 drilling rigs were operating in the Permian.

“With the oil and gas industry actively embracing the benefits of electrifying many of its fleet operations, we believe the time is ripe to help those same companies evaluate their corporate fleets,” said Stancil. “Electric pickups like the F-150 Lightning offer impressive performance that we believe will resonate with drivers.”

Management said that Midland Pilot participants would receive a summary of their existing fleet telematics data generated by a proprietary Merge analysis program. 

“Customers will quickly see the results of the pilot program as well as gain insights into current fleet utilization and potential emissions reduction opportunities,” said management.U.S. Environmental Protection Agency data show that passenger cars and trucks accounted for 57% of U.S. transportation sector greenhouse gas emissions in 2020.