GMP begins electrifying field operations fleet with first all-electric bucket truck

Colchester, Vt. (July 29, 2021) – Green Mountain Power (GMP) will replace two heavy-duty fossil-fuel field operations trucks with two all-electric trucks manufactured by Lion Electric in 2022 – a fully outfitted bucket truck for line crews and a Class 6 stake-body truck for electrical maintenance field crews.

The two trucks are expected to offset up to 100 tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year, representing a big advancement in clean electric vehicle technology for heavy-duty work and are a major step toward GMP’s goal of electrifying its field operations fleet. GMP is among the first utilities in New England to receive all-electric heavy-duty trucks for its fleet.  This move is the latest step GMP has already taken to cut carbon in its fleet, including using clean B20 biodiesel in almost all trucks for many years, and incorporating fully electric cars and plug-in hybrid vehicles into other aspects of its fleet.

“Electrifying our heavy-duty field operations fleet to reduce carbon emissions as we travel the state keeping the lights on and building a more resilient grid is a critical next step in our work to eliminate fossil fuels from our operations,” said Mari McClure, president and CEO of Green Mountain Power. “Transportation with fossil-fueled vehicles is the top source of carbon emissions in Vermont and we’re proud to start the process of converting our line truck fleet to clean electric trucks.”

GMP received about a $915,000 grant through the VW settlement fund managed by the Agency of Natural Resources, and will collect data about the trucks’ use, performance, charging, and carbon reduction to help the state learn more about the opportunities electric trucks offer the state in reaching clean energy goals.

Class 6 stake-body truck used by electrical maintenance field crews.

“Reducing public exposure to diesel emissions is an ongoing challenge,” said Peter Walke, commissioner of the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation.  “This project reduces both criteria air pollutants and greenhouse gases, moving Vermont closer to meeting our GHG emissions reduction goals, and supporting our electrification goals for the medium- and heavy-duty vehicle sector.”

Lion Electric – a leading North American manufacturer of medium- and heavy-duty zero-emission vehicles – will manufacture the trucks to order, with the first truck expected to be delivered to GMP in the first quarter of 2022, and the second one scheduled to arrive next summer.

“As a clean-energy leader, Vermont is a great example of how to integrate sustainable energy and electrified transportation, which is key to creating a successful sustainable society and economy in the future,” said Marc Bedard, CEO, and founder of Lion Electric. “With reduced emissions and noise pollution, these trucks will eliminate emissions in the communities where they operate while saving on fleet costs, and we look forward to growing our relationship with GMP in the future.”

Because there is no combustion engine, like all EVs, there are savings on maintenance and fuel – reducing maintenance costs by up to 60 percent, and energy costs by up to 80 percent. Additionally, the bucket truck and its auxiliary systems run entirely off the vehicle’s battery pack, eliminating emissions and noise pollution. The line truck has a range of 130 miles, and the stake truck can go 200 miles on a charge.

The grant will also help customers through the purchase of two bi-directional fast chargers for the trucks. This provides charging convenience, plus the chargers’ two-way energy flow means when the trucks are plugged in and not in use, GMP can tap into the stored energy in their batteries during peak energy use times on the grid. This helps reduce demand and costs when energy is most expensive for customers. The two vehicle-to-grid (V2G) chargers are expected to generate more than $135,000 in savings for customers, building on GMP’s earlier work with V2G, using stored energy in a Nissan Leaf for peak energy reduction.

To learn more about the work GMP is doing to make it easier than ever to convert to an electric vehicle, check out information here or at greenmountainpower.com.

Source: Green Mountain Power

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